Nick Gibb: ‘Now is a good time to become a teacher’

Schools minister blames 'severe problem' of teacher workload on 'ideology from education academics' Now is a good time to become a teacher, thanks to increased opportunities for swift promotion, according to the schools minister. Nick Gibb was speaking at a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference, organised by the free market thinktank Policy Exchange, about “putting talent management into the schools system”. He acknowledged there had been “challenges” in recent years with recruiting new teachers into the profession, which he blamed on a strong economy and said this was an issue facing some other countries. Mr Gibb told the audience: “I think now is a good time to join the teaching profession. Promotion through the system is swifter now than it has been in the past. “Able, ambitious graduates coming into teaching can find themselves in senior leadership positions very swiftly. There are now opportunities to set up and establish a new free school and there are opportunities to run a multi-academy trust after having served as a headteacher for several years. “Now is a good time to join the profession, and I think it bodes very well.” Teacher workload problem Mr Gibb said he had “never really considered” the quality of teachers in the system as one of the challenges the government needed to tackle when it came into office. He said his view, based on evidence and visits to 500 schools in 13-14 years, was that “the English teaching profession, I believe, is of very high quality, it is very highly educated, the teachers I meet are to a man and woman conscientious. They are committed to educating the next generation”. The minister also described teacher workload as a “severe problem”, and said it was “invariably” driven by ideology from education academics. As examples of such ideas, he cited “dialogic marking, a skills-based curriculum, a data-driven and vastly over-complicated assessment system and an ideological hostility to textbooks”.

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