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Experienced teachers booted out to save money, replaced with NQTs

(40 Posts)
noblegiraffe Mon 29-Apr-19 11:29:51

So as school budgets become increasingly inadequate, the new wheeze seems to be to make your experienced teachers’ lives so uncomfortable so that they quit and you can replace them with a much cheaper NQT.

“A survey by Teacher Tapp of 3,568 school staff found that 10 per cent were “confident” that teachers on the upper pay scale at their school had been encouraged to leave or had been made redundant to clear space for cheaper staff.”

Replacing experienced teachers with cheap support staff was also a measure recommended to a school by the DfE’s cost-cutting taskforce.

In what other profession would experience be so undervalued? Encourage your experienced heart surgeon to leave so she can be replaced by someone fresh out of medical school? People would soon spot the flaws in that plan, but when it’s teaching? ‘Oh but NQTs have so much enthusiasmhmm

As plans go, it also ignores the dwindling supply of NQTs. Teaching needs to hold onto its experienced teachers not get them to quit, because there aren’t enough teachers to go around as it is.

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MullofKintire Mon 29-Apr-19 13:45:59

The same has been happening across the civil service for the past ten years. People then complain when mistakes are made.

noblegiraffe Mon 29-Apr-19 18:24:12

Damian Hinds has just tweeted that there are 10k more teachers and 40k more teaching assistants in schools than in 2010.

Neatly ignores the fact that secondary pupil numbers are increasing and teacher numbers are at best static.

But who has all these extra teaching assistants? Every school I know has had to sack most of them.

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noblegiraffe Mon 29-Apr-19 19:40:32

Just seen 634,000 more pupils in schools, so those 10k new teachers would have class sizes of over 60. Well done Damian.

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viques Mon 29-Apr-19 19:51:04

Don't be silly giraffe quite a lot of those pupils will be being taught by the TA's that is if there are any TA's still available after they have been drafted in to cover PPA time..........


There isn't a tearful smile through gritted teeth emoticon is her?

TalkinPaece Mon 29-Apr-19 21:42:12

this has been part of the stand alone academy plan
exempt from foi

noblegiraffe Mon 29-Apr-19 22:54:08

Are they, talkin?

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TalkinPaece Mon 29-Apr-19 22:58:14

Yup, sorry, poor typing as I had the cat on me ....
MATs are exempt from all sorts and stand alones have perfected the art of subsidiary companies that are
it stinks to high heaven
(and I say that as somebody who is working my way through the NAO consultation on updating auditor guidance)

replacing skilled teachers with NQTs started when austerity did ... 2010

DippyAvocado Mon 29-Apr-19 23:01:51

Yep, happened to me five years ago when my (primary) school became a MAT, despite consistently excellent performance and results. I am still in touch with some of the few remaining TAs and they tell me every year new student teachers and NQTs are brought in. They stay in post for a year or two and then move on and the cycle repeats. The academy chain pays big whack for a couple of "specialist" Maths and English teachers who are not in class and essentially do all the planning then the teacher is just the flunky at the front of the class who tries to deliver it. Such a poor model of education.

QueenBlueberries Tue 30-Apr-19 20:01:01

Yes, I have seen this in both primary and secondary schools. Experienced teachers at best being encouraged to take early retirement and at worst being bullied out of their jobs with impossible workloads and demands. It is absolutely shocking .

Jayblue Wed 01-May-19 19:09:29

I'm not saying you're wrong and I don't disagree that experience is obviously important, but I'm going to be an NQT in September, and I've missed out on 3 jobs so far which have all gone to more experienced candidates. I'm in a "shortage" subject, although there seems to be plenty of applicants in the part of the word where I'd like a job.

I know anecdote is not data etc, etc.

I totally agree that this does happen in some areas, but it's not all schools and I think it's easy for people to blame missing out on jobs on being to expensive, or say they've been pushed out due to expense rather than looking critically at themselves. But equally I'm sure it happens in some schools too- and I'm aware the "cover by support staff" thing does happen a lot, especially in primary school, which isn't great.

Of course, that relies on the school still having some support staff employed!

Of course, the answer is to fund schools properly!

I do also wonder if some kind of probation year system like they have in Scotland would be good for NQTs?

HoneysuckIejasmine Wed 01-May-19 19:13:55

The NQT year is a probation year. If you fail it, no teaching for you.

I keep an eye on the job adverts near me. They commonly ask for MPS, some go so far as to say M1-M3 only. I'm UPS1, so when I go back to work I don't imagine I'll find it easy. (I'm a SAHM)

beeRB Wed 01-May-19 19:36:57

Similar things are happening at universities up and down the country too. Experienced academics e.g professors and Senior Readers are being treated like crap and when they leave they are replaced with recent PhD grads or a standard "lecturer". All part of saving money hmm

BubblesBuddy Wed 01-May-19 21:39:46

Plenty of older teachers I know have been gagging to leave and my LA used to let them go at 55. 25 years ago! It really isn’t new! Just say you couldn’t cope and a generous retirement package was yours - paid early! They have actually stopped that now. It’s too expensive. MATs might think otherwise. Many an ex teacher took on coaching or tutoring with a nice pay off behind them, mortgage paid off etc. I don’t see all these over 50 teachers being desperate to work. Most are desperate to go. The deals are now probably not as good as they were! That’s why they are not happy! They could negotiate part time and stay working.

Also PM is now meaning years doing the job isn’t the same as doing an effective job. Schools do not have to keep ineffective teachers, whatever their length of service.

noblegiraffe Wed 01-May-19 22:07:58

We’re not talking about over 50s, Bubbles, were talking about over 30s.

We’ve got one of the most inexperienced teaching workforces in the developed world.

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blue55 Wed 01-May-19 22:11:27

Most of my teacher friends feel absolutely burnt out after 10 years of teaching.

BubblesBuddy Wed 01-May-19 22:56:21

Well over 30s are not very experienced or very expensive so I cannot see why schools want them out. Unless it’s on grounds of capability. There are so many new Assistant Head jobs now that didn’t exist before, the 30s teacher on the way up is definitely fast tracked with a good career progression structure. I guess some people don’t fit in with what schools want. Many workforces are quite young. Teaching isn’t much different.

I’m don’t think all schools are well managed and I don’t think all teachers are well looked after by their SLTs. However being forced out is constructive dismissal so is there an increase in teachers bringing these actions? If there is not, what is the actual evidence? Redundancy can be used where a job isn’t being replaced. So if you no longer teach drama, it’s reasonable that the drama teacher is redundant. Ditto other subjects that are dropped. Schools should, of course, seek to redeploy but some teachers won’t want to teach other subjects. Therefore redundancy and the associated payments to the teacher is fair, in the circumstances.

Budgets where I live have always been tight. Long before 2010! It’s been a long term issue where a Conservative Shire is starved of funds by Labour and shows how frugal it can be when a Conservative Govt has the purse strings. We now have no money from central Government at all. None.

BubblesBuddy Wed 01-May-19 22:58:57

Sorry - in my first line I should have made it clear I meant over 30s main scale teachers - obviously not highly promoted ones.

noblegiraffe Thu 02-May-19 07:49:11

Well over 30s are not very experienced or very expensive so I cannot see why schools want them out

You know that in teaching over 5 years is experienced? And that you get to ‘expensive’ UPS territory after 6 years? (Unless of course the school is saving money by not moving teachers up the pay scale).

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MountainEagle Thu 02-May-19 08:09:37

Experienced teachers booted out to save money, replaced with NQTs
It’s better than what’s happening in the Further Education sector. The pay scale has mostly been abolished. You’re either a Lecturer A (zero hour contract, term time only, only paid for classroom hours not for prep or marking, with no benefits or paid holidays). Or you’re a Lecturer B (a full time job with benefits, with responsibility for providing materials to Lecturer A as well as doing your own teaching).

Obviously they are employing the minimum number of Bs because they cost more, and experienced teachers are stuck being As hoping one day to be Bs. Bs are overworked and supporting several As, while As desperately want a proper full time job. Often the overworked Bs fail to provide materials for As who then have to cobble their classes together unpaid in what little time they can afford to allocate. Students taught by As have no access to their teacher outside the classroom because they’re only paid for classroom hours. It’s a farce and both As and Bs are leaving the sector in droves.

xsquared Thu 02-May-19 08:19:57

Bubbles I was on the equivalent of M5 before I was 30. £8000 difference on our pay scale at the time.

No chance that my current employer will choose me over an NQT now. I'm in a coaching role now and the pay is nowhere near what I would have been earning as a classroom teacher.

SimonJT Thu 02-May-19 08:25:34

My ex teaches secondary maths, he is now at the stage where he is essentially stuck at his school as he is too expensive to move to another.

BubblesBuddy Thu 02-May-19 08:51:25

In nearly any other professional job, 5 years in isn’t considered very experienced or even experienced. It’s good for teachers that promotion seems easy to attain with very little experience. Might I suggest you cannot have it both ways! In my DH’s profession (Civil and Structural Engineering) many grads take at least 5 years post degree to get fully qualified (Chartered) never mind being considered experienced. As if!

BubblesBuddy Thu 02-May-19 08:58:13

Every expensive professional is stuck unless they get promotion! It really is the same for everyone. Nurses, Doctors, Planners, Architects - it’s universal and everywhere looks at staffing costs and benefits to the organisation via productivity and performance management. Teachers are no different.

noblegiraffe Thu 02-May-19 11:09:35

Bubbles, in teaching 5 years is considered experienced because so many don’t make it that far.

And while it might be considered good career progression for an individual to be a head of maths with less than 5 years experience, it’s not actually good for teaching, or the kids, or education in general.

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