WATCH: Williamson ignores teachers’ distrust in DfE

Education secretary fails to respond to concerns over plummeting trust in his department

Amy Gibbons

Williamson ignores teachers' distrust in DfE

The education secretary has failed to respond to concerns that 96 per cent of teachers lack trust in his handling of the pandemic.

When Tes asked Gavin Williamson at today’s Downing Street briefing whether he was worried that faith in his department had plummeted, he almost completely ignored the question.

Last month, Tes found that 95 per cent of school staff lacked trust in the Department for Education (DfE) over its handling of the virus – 96 per cent for teachers alone.

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It also found that trust levels had plummeted over the course of the pandemic. In July, half of school staff had no trust at all in the DfE’s handling of schools during the coronavirus crisis. By September, this had climbed to 60 per cent, and earlier this year it had risen to 70 per cent.

Tes asked the education secretary at today’s briefing: “Are you worried that teachers’ faith in your department has plummeted to the point where 96 per cent lack trust in your handling of the pandemic?"

He responded: “Well, Amy, thanks ever so much for coming to ask a question.

“What we’re focused on is making sure that all children are back into school at the right time and the best possible moment. That’s going to be 8 March.

“We know that children benefit most of all from being in school. We know that children need to be in school in terms of not just their education but their mental health and their development, and that is why our focus is making sure they are back in school on 8 March and it’s something that I know so many teachers are also very keen to see because they want to be welcoming their children as well.”

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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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