The National Union of Teachers has published an open New Year message to Michael Gove, criticising him for refusing to meet directly with unions in a “damning indictment” against his time as the current Education Secretary.
The message warns the Coalition government that they must “totally rethink their policies in 2014” in order to regain the trust of the teaching profession, while highlighting the 74 per cent of teachers who said in a recent survey their morale in the profession has dropped since the last election.
The survey, conducted by YouGov, also found almost half of the 826 teachers (49 per cent) polled reported pupils struggling to concentrate because of malnutrition or hunger, and 63 per cent arguing more than a fifth of their work load does not directly benefit children’s learning.
In a damning statistic, when asked who teachers would vote for should there be a general election tomorrow, only 12 per cent said they would vote for the Conservative party. Just six per cent would vote for the Liberal Democrats, in contrast to the 43 per cent who said they would vote Labour.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the NUT said: “If David Cameron and Nick Clegg are under any illusions that their education policies are going in the right direction, they need to think again. This survey makes it abundantly clear that both teachers and head teachers do not see their policies as being in the best interests of children or the profession.
“The NUT cannot recall a time over its 144 year history when Government policy has been so roundly condemned by the teaching profession. With a general election round the corner, David Cameron and Nick Clegg need to completely change tack if they are to attract the support of teachers and start improving the life chances of our children and young people.”