‘Children will suffer from disaffected teachers’
A LISBURN school principal has warned that children will pay the price if the teaching profession becomes de-valued.
Gillian Dunlop, headteacher of Largymore Primary School and Past President of the Ulster Teachers’ Union, was responding to a new shock survey which revealed that the overwhelming majority of young teachers do not feel valued and respected by their employers.
“It was clear from this survey that young teachers are fully committed to being great teachers and to serving the children and young people they teach. Teaching is their vocation,” she said.
“However, their professional effectiveness is being undermined as a result of cuts to education and the damaging impact of the accountability regime.
“Teachers seem to be working within constantly changing parameters where ever more is demanded of them without adequate support and recourse to professional development.
“Young teachers entering the profession deserve to be assured of progression if they themselves are to fulfil their potential – which is what they are aiming for with their students. It is essential that the resources and framework are there to underpin this.
“While at an even more basic level, young teachers should have some sort of realistic expectation of work and job security. We are all too aware of the numbers of newly qualified teachers who struggle to find work and then find themselves in the catch 22 scenario of not being able to get a job without experience and not being able to get experience without a job.
“The OFMDFM’s announcement about employment of 230 recent graduates to target literacy and numeracy was very welcome. I am a member of the Steering Committee of this project, which is being lead by the WELB, and while it is very welcome it will only employ a very small number of teachers for a time-bound period of two years. We have been talking to the Department of Education about a longer-term programme and I hope the Minister will give his go ahead to investing in a scheme to change the age profile of the teaching workforce.
“These concerns must be addressed to ensure young teachers do not become disaffected and to ensure that pupils can continue to benefit from the skills, talents and expertise of young teachers who bring so much to the profession.”
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Weather for Lisburn
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 9 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North