Memorandum from the National Union of
Teachers (TU 01)
This memorandum provides a framework for the
National Union of Teacher's oral submission to the Select Committee.
The DfES document Education and Skills: Delivering
Results A Strategy to 2006 covering early education and childcare;
primary education; secondary and 14-19 education; increasing participation
in higher education; and adult skills.
These broad-brush priorities reflect the ten,
more specific, pledges made in the Labour Party manifesto Realising
the talent of all: Our mission for a second term.
Yet nowhere in the list of DfES priorities,
the Labour Party pledges, the foreword of the White Paper (or
the Green Paper before that) nor on the face of the Education
Bill is there any statement to suggest that this Government is
committed to addressing the fundamental problems of low teacher
morale and teacher retention.
In his valedictory article in the TES, 11 May
2001 the then Secretary of State for Education and Employment,
David Blunkett, wrote: "My one lasting regret is that
we haven't yet seen the improvements transform the morale of teachers".
The Secretary of State appears to be genuinely committed to improving
teacher retention and moraleshe has said so on numerous
occasions. Recently at her "baseline assessment" meeting
in front of the Education and Skills Select Committee she said:
"Retention is an issue. I think we need
to look carefully at retention. The figures are no different than
they have ever been on the whole but that is not good enough.
Whereas we have made progress with recruitment, we have not budged
the figures in terms of retention . . . I have got retention as
one of my top priorities and I want to budge those figures this
In its oral submission, therefore, the NUT will
provide further comment and evidence on restoring teacher ownership,
professional confidence and teacher workload. It will draw on
its extensive research including that commissioned from DEMOS,
Alan Smithers and Pamela Robinson; Warwick University and the
latest developments taking place in the teacher workload review.
In the context of the workload review the Union
can present both the evidence on the PricewaterhouseCoopers report
and its study commissioned from John Atkins (previously of Coopers
& Lybrand) on teacher professionalism and workload. The NUT
will, of course, be prepared to answer other questions including
those set out by the Committee in its calling notice.
National Union of Teachers
1 Official Report 24 October 2001. Back