The Yorkshire Party wants the Government to blow time on education being used as a political football: highlighting that teachers are being dissuaded from the profession by long hours (much of it devoted to meaningless admin), stress from inspections and league tables, and drastic cuts to school budgets. And it affects Yorkshire more than most regions.
Between 2010 and 2015, Yorkshire and the Humber saw the highest increase in primary teachers who were out-of-service and the greatest increase (1.9%) of the proportion of secondary teachers leaving the state-funded school sector, with 23% of secondary schools reporting at least one vacancy. One of the most cited reasons is unsustainable workload.
However, while schools in London have prospered, growing regional educational inequality has created what Sir Michael Wilshaw, former head of Ofsted, described as “nothing short of a divided nation after the age of 11”.
In 2016, 26% of schools in Yorkshire and the Humber were rated “requires improvement” and 5.9% “inadequate” for teaching, learning and assessment – compared with 7.4% and 1.6% of schools in London.
This disparity is compounded by the fact that three out of 10 children in Yorkshire live in poverty, meaning they are faced with a “double-disadvantage” of entrenched deprivation and poor schools. The unacceptable result is that where a child comes from has a greater effect on their future prospects than it did a generation ago.
According to a National Audit Office report, Retain and Developing the Teaching Workforce, 34,910 qualified teachers nationally left the service for reasons other than retirement in 2016.
And 81% of teachers said they had considered leaving teaching in the past year, with teachers working on average 54.4 hours a week. https://www.teachers.org.uk/pay-pensions-conditions/workload
Teachers were experiencing “unmanageable” levels of workload, according to Department of Education research published in March 2018.
Yorkshire Party Communications Director Jack Bannan said: “The education of our children is of paramount importance to people across Britain. We should be working with schools to reduce needless admin and to allow educators to concentrate on teaching.
“A devolved Yorkshire assembly would allow us to set out clear guidelines for schools on this issue and to encourage co-operation locally to improve learning outcomes for all.”
Read about our vision for education in Yorkshire at https://www.yorkshireparty.org.uk/education/
The Yorkshire Party has already demanded a fair deal on education spending, in a bid to equip all the region’s schoolchildren with the skills needed to compete in the 21st century.