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Want the politicians to listen? Relate everything to Brexit

For too long, education has been in Brexit's shadow, says Colin Harris – who offers a crafty solution...

Colleges, schools and apprenticeship providers have a role to play in informing staff about EU settlement scheme, the DfE says

For too long, education has been in Brexit's shadow, says Colin Harris – who offers a crafty solution...

Brexit. Who knew that this one little word would consume our country for two long years? It’s all anyone can talk about.

All of the other issues important to our country have been pushed aside as our politicians show themselves up in the corridors of Westminster.

It seems as though the way to get anything discussed by the powers that be is to link it, in some way, to Brexit.

So without further ado, may I present to you the Brexit of teaching:

B is for…better pay and conditions

Any pay award offered lags far behind inflation, and half the time schools can’t even afford to award that. Teachers are in the worst financial situation many have faced in years and it doesn’t look likely to improve any time soon.

R is for…recruitment and retention

No doubt about it: we’re in crisis mode when it comes to teacher recruitment and retention. Far fewer people want to be teachers, and those in the profession don’t see it as a long-term job. Why? The list of reasons is endless…

E is for…exam culture

We test our children from the time they enter school at 4 or 5 years old to when they leave aged 16 – education is based on "when in doubt, test them". Surely our children deserve much, much more than this?

X is for...forgive me for this...(e)xcessive workload

Paper, paper and more paper to be filled in for someone else to ignore. And what’s the gain for the pupils? Diddly-squat.

I is for…individuality and ideology

Thanks to politicians' ideology, our children have lost their individuality. Schools try so hard but the government requires all schools to conform and provide a curriculum geared to the test, instead of the needs of the individual pupils.

T is for…teachers  

Professional to the hilt, underpaid and overworked, and keeping a profession under strain because of financial cutbacks going. The reason why? They always put the child first. If only our politicians did the same.

So there it is, a teacher's Brexit. Do I believe that after 29 March we may actually start discussing and solving these issues? It may be naive, but yes, I do.

Colin Harris led a school in a deprived area of Portsmouth for more than two decades. His last two Ofsted reports were "outstanding" across all categories.

To read more of Colin's articles, visit his back catalogue

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