Listen to us, teachers tell new Education Secretary

Justine Greening
Justine Greening

Sussex teachers have called on the new Secretary of State for Education to listen to them and to admit there is a recruitment crisis.

Justine Greening was selected this morning (July 14) by Prime Minister Theresa May to replace Nicky Morgan in the role.

Mrs Greening will have to pick up the pieces following the recent teachers’ strike - and the possibility of more to follow - as well as the appointment of a new head of Ofsted.

Michael Ferry, headteacher of St Wilfrid’s School, Crawley, said he hoped Mrs Greening could make inroads into the issues facing the teaching profession, such as funding and recruitment - and that if she did so she would be “well supported”.

He added: “What I think is favourable is that she has been through the state education system rather than being to public school so her experience of that may prove relevant.

“However, I’m slightly disappointed in that we have yet another Secretary of State for Education whose only experience of schools seems to be that she went to one.”

Karen White, head of Greenway Academy said: “I’d like her to discuss with the profession what is the best way forward. We have chaos in the system and real clarity is required.

“This is an opportunity to get to grips with what does need to happen and work out how together. We as a profession want the best possible outcomes for children so we should be able to achieve this together.”

The National Union of Teachers also called on Mrs Greening to talk to those who actually work in the country’s schools.

Kevin Courtney, acting general secretary, said: “We congratulate Justine Greening on her appointment as the new Secretary of State for Education. We want to engage with her, representing the views of the profession and seeking positive change for our young people.

“There are real problems to be addressed: teacher recruitment and retention, mainly caused by excessive working hours is at crisis point; a lack of school funding is jeopardising the quality of education; and testing and assessment is in complete disarray.”

What do you think about Mrs Greening’s appointment? What would you like to see her do?

Leave your comments below or contact the newsdesk.

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