'Teachers quit as pupils are treated like battery hens'

Election 2019: Green Party warns of too much testing in primary school and pledges to abolish Ofsted and academies

Election 2019: Pupils are treated like 'battery hens', say Green Party

Pupils in our schools are treated like “battery hens” and are among the unhappiest children in the world.

That’s the view of The Green Party, which says the culture in which “schools are run as businesses” is driving teachers out of the profession.

Speaking on an "election special" panel at the Schools and Academies Show in Birmingham, the Greens' education spokesperson, Vix Lowthion, outlined the party's plans for education.

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Ms Lowthion said: “Education has lost its way and we’ve forgotten the true purpose of schools to create happy, rounded, purposeful and productive young adults.

“Instead, we are treating our children like battery hens and they’re weighed and observed and they’re ticked off.

“This is why the Green Party intend to remove a lot of the testing [in schools]. In five out of seven years in primary school, you are undergoing some form of test.”

Election 2019: 'Education has lost its way'

Ms Lowthion, who is a secondary school teacher on the Isle of Wight, said she was missing her A-level classes by being at the conference.

Conservative and Labour representatives failed to show up at the last minute due to election commitments. However, deputy speaker of the House of Lords, Baroness Garden, was present to outline the Lib Dem plans.

Ms Lowthion said it was "shocking" that the two main parties hadn't attended,

She said Green plans for education included the abolition of Ofsted and academies, and more local democratic accountability for schools.  

She added: “The crisis of mental health is cultural. If you run schools as businesses with targets and data and spreadsheet analysis at their heart then there is a very human consequence to that.

"We have some of the most unhappy children in the world, and nearly 50 per cent of our teachers leave in the first five years, and teachers are reported to experience more stress than any other professions.”

Ms Lowthion said few people would vote for a Green Party prime minister, but her party had 50,000 members and had received 2 million votes in the recent European election.

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Dave Speck

Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

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