With more and more teachers in England opting for other career options, the government is expected to announce a new policy that will no longer rate or punish schools in England based on their performance in national exams or tests. British Education Secretary Damian Hill is soon expected to announce the new measures, which are aimed at retaining current teachers and attracting new one to the profession.
Per the new policy, schools will no longer be labelled “failing” based on results of national tests or GCSE exams. The move will help ease the massive burden of performance that is put on schools that do not have an ideal pupil intake. To make up for it, only Ofsted inspection results will become the foundations for remedial actions that need to be taken to correct the course of a school. The contemplated policy has been welcomed by school staffers, who say it will ease some of the massive pressure of keeping administration activities top notch besides producing results that are at par with national averages.
According to the Guardian newspaper, “the move is part of a package designed to make teaching more attractive, including efforts to increase flexible working and job-sharing, announced by Hinds” last week. It also looks to reduce workload in areas such as “marking, data collection and lesson planning”.
The new policy will include numerous measures that again make teaching attractive to younger job seekers. Among them will be a career framework that will be offered to young recruits in the profession at the beginning of the teaching stint. “New teachers will receive a two-year package of training and support at the start of their career, including a reduced teaching timetable to continue their training,” the Guardian reported.
Education Secretary Hinds earlier said that the people who chose to become teachers “choose to do so to inspire young people, support their development and set them up for a bright future – not stay late in the office filling in a spreadsheet”. “This ambitious strategy commits to supporting teachers – particularly those at the start of their career – to focus on what actually matters, the pupils in their classrooms,” he had added.
The expected policy is in response to a crisis that has seen secondary schools in England becoming unable recruit and retain teachers. The policy aims to help schools recruit fresh talent in the profession for the long haul, as the pupil population is estimated to rise manifold in the next decade.
These are exactly the kind of interventions the education system in Pakistan needs. Here too, teachers are forced to balance numerous teaching and administrative duties each day and then expected to do well at both jobs. Additionally, the teachers are then rated for the performance of students, which in many cases remains below average. In Punjab, teachers in school have been assigned additional responsibilities of uploading various school data, like teacher, student attendance, facilities etc, to electronic monitoring systems, an efforts that often means hectic efforts that require long hours.
Resultantly, teachers either become too fatigued to concentrate on or too indifferent towards their actual roles of teaching, which in turn plays havoc with the entire learning process a school is expected to carry out.
To reverse this appalling trend, the state needs to separate teaching and administrative duties and offer improved facilities to teachers for them to concentrate on giving the best possible teaching environment to students. That is one way to see some improvement in learning.