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‘reign of terror’ v ‘exciting times in education’

4 April 2012

The Guardian has asked teachers and unions what problems there are in education ahead of the teaching union conferences. Comments include budget cuts, privatisation of education, implementing new freedoms being offered and schools being toyed with as a ‘political plaything’. Other concerns include the ‘climate of fear and judgment’ in schools caused by Ofsted’s recent, numerous changes.

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers comments that ‘teachers are being held responsible for all the ills of society’, which rings true after the outcome of the recent report blaming schools for last year’s riots. She describes a ‘reign of terror on teachers’, contrasting Sir Michael Wilshaw’s comments that these are ‘exciting times in education’.

All comments (with the exception of Wilshaw’s) make it clear that the government need to tread carefully to ensure they don’t completely disillusion teachers and school leaders and inadvertently dissuade talented people from a career in teaching.

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