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Commenting on the Schools White Paper, Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary said:

“For more than a decade the Government has failed to deliver a competent plan to ensure that every education provider is properly led, supported and accountable for delivering the entitlements that should be guaranteed to every child and young person.

“The ambitions set out in the White Paper will not be delivered unless they are matched with the funding and resources needed to meet the challenges facing the education system today.

“The irony of the Government’s assertions of wanting to retain the best teachers will not be lost on a profession that has seen their pay cut by 19% in real terms over the last 12 years and where two out of three teachers are seriously considering quitting the job.

“Investment in training and development for teachers is long overdue, but will not be welcomed by already overworked teachers unless they are guaranteed time to access these opportunities.

“The White Paper’s restatement of the commitment to £30,000 starting salaries for new teachers does not undo the damage that has been done to teachers’ pay and working conditions over the last 12 years. The Government promised to deliver £30,000 starting salaries by September 2022 and teachers expect them to keep that promise whilst also delivering restorative pay awards for experienced teachers.

“Excellence for all children and young people will not be delivered until the Government addresses the urgent need to also deliver substantial additional investment in the teaching profession and wider services for children and families.

“The White Paper should be a golden opportunity for the Government to finally abandon the ideological experiments of the last decade which have resulted in harmful fragmentation of education and children’s services and a lost decade for children, young people and teachers.

“It is welcome that after a decade of ideological attacks on the role of local authorities, the Government is now recognising the vital role that these democratically accountable bodies should play in children’s education and in ensuring that no child is left behind. They must now be properly funded to ensure they can support schools to deliver for children and young people in their areas.

“The Education Secretary has said that he is determined to be evidence-led. The evidence of the last 12 years has clearly prompted him to reconsider the merits of changes introduced by his predecessors. That is welcome, but the Secretary of State now needs to show that he is determined to not simply play catch-up, but to deliver a much more ambitious programme that will enshrine and assure the rights and entitlements of pupils and teachers.”

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