Commenting on the speech today by Education Secretary Damian Hinds, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union said:

“The Secretary of State’s speech today provides yet further vindication of the ongoing, 8-year campaign by NASUWT members on workload.

“Regrettably, although acknowledging the problem, the Secretary of State has failed to come forward with any specific measures to reduce workload and working hours of teachers.

“The causes of the workload challenge in schools have been documented extensively.

“Teachers need action on workload, not more talk and hand wringing.

“In the absence of regulatory measures to safeguard teachers from unacceptable and damaging workload pressures, the NASUWT will continue to defend its members against unreasonable workload and unacceptable management practices.

“The NASUWT looks forward to constructive dialogue with the Secretary of State on tackling workload and resolving the Union’s continuing trade dispute.”


Commenting on the announcement by the DfE of a new bursary to encourage ex-service personnel to retrain as teachers, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the

NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, said:

“Former members of the armed services can have a very valuable contribution to make to education system, as can people from a wide range of occupational backgrounds.

“However, the evidence that incentive schemes of this type, regardless of the group at which they are targeted, are effective are mixed at best and it is therefore disappointing that the Government continues to place so much emphasis on them. Any difference they do make is at the margins at best.

“The Government must accept that the only way in which the teacher supply crisis will be addressed on a sustainable basis is through action to tackle its fundamental causes, particularly those related to teachers’ excessive workloads as well as the increasingly uncompetitive nature of their pay and other key terms and conditions of employment.”


Members of the NASUWT – the teachers’ union are to take two days of strike action on Wednesday and Thursday at University Academy Keighley.

This action is as a result of the failure of the employer to respond to the deep concerns of teachers at the school about the culture in which they are expected to work which is having an adverse impact on their working conditions, their health and well-being.

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“NASUWT members are dedicated and committed teachers who care about the pupils they teach. Taking strike action is the last thing they want to do but they have been left with no choice.

“Instead of being treated with professional respect in the workplace, we understand there has been bullying, intimidation and discrimination which is adversely affecting their health and wellbeing and undermining their work to provide the high standards of education to which the young people they teach are entitled.

“It is also our understanding that some teachers have been off work with stress and the level of staff turnover has increased.

“It is clear that there is something seriously wrong.

“Teachers, like all workers, have a right to be treated with dignity and fairness at work.The NASUWT has offered a way forward to the Employer which would have avoided strike action but regrettably this has not been actioned.

“The NASUWT stands ready to engage with the employer on these matters but tangible and urgent action by the employer will be needed if a positive outcome is to be achieved.”

Tim Toepritz, NASUWT National Executive Member for West Yorkshire, said:

“The teachers are devastated that it has come to this but they cannot continue to work in an environment where they do not feel respected and valued and their health and welfare appear to count for nothing.

“These teachers need their voices to be heard and the NASUWT is making sure that they are.”


Commenting on Ofsted’s figures on secondary school pupil exclusion rates, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“While it is important that decisions to exclude pupils are carefully considered, it is vital that schools must continue to have the right to use fixed term exclusions in circumstances where the objective professional judgement of school leaders and teachers indicates that it is justified.

“The figures are an indication of why pupil behaviour is among the top three concerns of teachers alongside workload and pay.

“While it is important for Ofsted to monitor local and regional exclusion patterns, it is also critical that no action is taken to undermine the confidence of schools to use fixed-term exclusions where appropriate.

“It is important not to jump to any premature conclusions about practice in the local authorities named by Ofsted as having particularly high exclusion rates. Stakeholders should work together to examine the causes of these apparently high rates of exclusion and what, if any action, is appropriate.

“Barriers placed in the way of local authorities’ ability to monitor exclusions, introduced since May 2010, have been unhelpful, as have the cuts to specialist support services for young people and the dismantling of local partnerships focused on promoting good behaviour and attendance in all local schools. 

“Teachers and headteachers are facing enormous challenges as a result of the cuts to essential services .All of these factors will have an impact on exclusion rates. The Government must face up to the fact that it has removed essential support from schools to assist with the management of pupil behaviour.

“There have been cases across the country where some schools have attempted to exclude pupils on the basis of concerns about the school’s ranking in performance tables, rather than the specific behaviour of individual pupils. Such practice is not acceptable and should be challenged when it is discovered. However, this is yet another consequence of the Government’s deregulation and fragmentation of the system which has removed important checks and balances.”

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