Transporting Teachers?

Boris Johnson Conference Speech 2021

Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party suggestion to pay teachers up to £3,000 more in a ‘levelling up premium’ specifically for talented maths, physics and chemistry teachers to be parachuted into parts of the country where they’re most needed got us pondering.

Is this simply the rehashing of ideas that failed over the past 10 years ago when there was the teacher Task Force?

Everybody acknowledges teachers are worth the salary he also indicated at the conference of £30,000 but that’s not what’s at play here.

There’s great swathes of the country where provision is inadequate and it’s simply impossible to recruit teachers, take some coastal towns that are well known areas of educational cold spots.

If you’re a great (talented!) maths, chemistry or physics teacher you can get a job anywhere. So the question is why would a teacher choose to work in an area far away from home or known to be a tough place to teach?

Ofsted, for a number of years, have been identifying areas where they can’t get high quality teachers. That was part of the reason for the creation of the opportunity areas we have in existence today.

We’d say obviously the idea of getting a teacher to go and work in a place that don’t want to live is fundamentally flawed Even if it became a requirement for teachers.

Or like the talk of changing teachers from professionals to civil servants because civil servants can be deployed anywhere. That never happened and could be argued shouldn’t!

The problem with all of these plans is they are short termist. Send a teacher to a deprived coastal town for two years and then they can go back to their own locality and what happens? You’re back to square one!

From our perspective quite clearly the way forwards is to build technology that enables teachers to learn from the best or to use outstanding teaching within their school to support their learners.

Just like YouTeachMe does. It’s really easy, it’s not rocket science it just needs a different way of thinking about it.

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