Sunday, 8 January 2017

Observer letter on Tories` appalling education policies

It is interesting to note that the Tories are using the same argument for their Higher Education bill as they used back in the 1980s, when proposing the privatisation of the energy industry (Lords revolt at Tory plans for "free-market" universities, 01/01/17). Clearly, the proposals "to increase choice and competition in the higher education sector" will no more raise standards than the energy sell-off lowered prices. This backdoor privatisation is another example of May`s government`s appallingly inept education policy.
   Whilst there is no denying universities should be made "more accountable to their students", the Tories` method of achieving this is crass. Teaching quality is to be judged by the Teaching Excellence Framework, which takes into account student opinion, the number of students who leave prior to course completion, and the number of graduates gaining appropriate jobs. Bearing in mind that good teaching will lead to increased tuition fees, how can anyone in government think that this is efficient or fair?
     Government thinking on the teacher recruitment crisis in schools is no better (Teaching shortages could worsen as Brexit takes effect, 01/01/17). With "more teachers leaving the job than joining", the DfE failing "to hit necessary recruitment levels for a fifth year in a row", and May refusing to give EU nationals "any assurances that they will continue to be welcome" after Brexit, one would have thought the penny would have dropped by now: low pay for classroom teachers, an excessive workload, and constant criticism from Ofsted all are problems in dire need of government attention. The fact that schools have to rely on recruitment agencies "operating in places like Romania and Bulgaria" for their teachers is nothing less than a national disgrace!

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