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Retention 'should be improved' in teaching profession

17/08/2011 Joanna
Government action is needed to improve retention within the teaching profession, it has been claimed.

John Coe, spokesman for the National Association of Primary Education, noted that the Training and Development Agency for Schools has suffered a severe cut in its budget.

He claimed that this is the agency people look to for "action and innovation across the whole field of teacher training".

"Successive governments have relied upon market forces and competition to force up educational standards, yet have so far failed. The result has been an overemphasis on failure and a denigration of teaching as a profession," Mr Coe commented.

"This has led to low morale among teachers in service who, needless to say, are deeply involved in training. As a university lecturer I too often found my students advised never to enter teaching and such advice is influential in leading trainees not to take up a post after training."

He claimed that the profession is waiting to see if the promises made by politicians to enter into a new relationship with teachers based on trust and professionalism will be honoured.

"This could have a profound effect on retention. The signs are not good as we note that the government has set impossible targets for many children, the English Baccalaureate, applied retrospectively, and the expected level for primary schools which predetermines that up to a third of children and their schools will fail and that their failure will be publicised through the media," Mr Coe added.

The Department for Education announced in July that teachers will be required to "meet new standards" relating to their competence and conduct by September 2012.

According to the government, there will be more focus on the key elements of teaching, including subject knowledge, managing behaviour and teaching pupils with special needs.

In addition, the Department for Education recently issued new guidance for teachers relating to discipline in the classroom.

Posted by Katy Kearns
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