Who has said, ‘I am going to lay a challenge at the door of the media, because one of the things Vic [head of Passmores Academy) said loud and clear is the way that schooling and education is reported in this country, the language used often puts people off from wanting to go into it [teaching].’
The answer is Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. She made this remark
during a visit to Passmores Academy, featured in Educating Essex
, after taking up an offer of a latte from Vic Goddard, head of Passmores. He gave the invitation in a moving open letter
to Morgan which described the pressures heads are under (I confess, Vic, your letter made me cry).
I share the views of Disappointed Idealist - the media can’t be blamed for the way education is reported (after all, much of the stuff is regurgitated press releases from the Department for Education)
. Disappointed Idealist says Morgan’s remarks ‘can be used to redefine the terms “brass neck”, “chutzpah” and “total and complete absence of self-awareness” for future generations, coming, as it does, from the woman who wasted no time after the election to deliver a bill designed to address “failing” and “coasting” schools, and a much-publicised commitment to sack “failing headteachers”. And of course, we don’t need to go back into “blobby”, “enemies of promise” Gove.’
Morgan has a huge problem in teacher recruitment and retention. But the media can’t be blamed for the sneering at ‘council-run’ schools (and by implication the teachers in them) which comes from Department for Education propaganda. The media can’t be blamed when teachers who oppose Government ideas, no matter how well-argued and evidence-based their criticisms are, are dismissed as the Blob or enemies of promise. The media can’t be blamed for heaping continuous changes on the teaching system in England – curriculum, exams, inspections, benchmarks, the hokey-cokey of what’s included in league tables, academy conversion (by force, if necessary) – which is contributing heavily to the teacher exodus. The media can’t be blamed for making teaching seem a perilous occupation which is only as safe as the next round of results or Ofsted inspection.
No, Secretary of State, it’s not the media which is making teaching an unattractive career – it’s you, your ministers and your predecessor. Don’t blame the messenger.