5 Apr, 2015

Tristram Hunt promises a new deal for stressed and overworked teachers

The Observer | Teaching | Richard Adams | Sunday 5 April 2015 

Abstract: Hunt had strong backing from Chris Keates, the NASUWT’s general secretary, who applauded his plans to block further free schools, saying: “We hope Labour will, when it wins the election, work to put an end to thousands of headteachers paying themselves six-figure sums while placing barriers in the way of teachers’ pay progression.”

But Hunt disappointed some at the National Union of Teachers’ conference, in Harrogate, over the scrapping of baseline assessments for reception pupils, due to be introduced in 2016.

NUT delegates overwhelmingly passed a motion calling for the union to campaign against the assessments – designed to give a national measure of children’s starting point when they start school as young as four – and held out the possibility of balloting union members over a possible boycott, but Hunt said: “I’m always willing to listen to professionals, but this is about intelligent accountability systems. When teachers say to me they are facing challenges with language skills, motor skills and all sorts of other skills when children are entering schooling, having an understanding of the level at which they are entering is not a bad premise.”