Havant MP turned away from school as headteacher criticises government for ‘attacking the teaching profession’

Warren Park Primary School headteacher Colin Harris
Warren Park Primary School headteacher Colin Harris
Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

Children in Need: Junior School has a pretty perfect Pudsey plan

  • Alan Mak turned away from Warren Park Primary School
  • Headteacher says government doesn’t care about education
  • Alan Mak says he still wants to support the school
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A HEADTEACHER has declined a visit from a local MP after criticising the government for ‘attacking the teaching profession’.

Alan Mak, MP for Havant, wrote to schools across his constituency offering to visit and talk to staff and pupils.

Havant MP Alan Mak

Havant MP Alan Mak

But Colin Harris, headteacher of Warren Park Primary School in Havant, wrote an open letter to the MP, saying he did not want him to visit his school.

In the letter, Mr Harris said: ‘Under the coalition government and ongoing to the present time, there has been an unprecedented attack on our wonderful profession.

‘I have worked for and supported this profession for the last 37 years in what I hope is considered to be a successful way.

‘Under Mr Gove we saw the rise of divisive policies which ensured we created true isolation for teaching.

I have no need for an MP to come to tell me that he’s going to change the world

Colin Harris, headteacher

‘These policies have led to thousands of teachers wanting to leave teaching with little hope of replacing either their number or their quality and experience.

‘I for one am fed up with it and so thank you for showing an interest, but I have to decline the visit until such time as the government really and truly cares about the future of education.’

Speaking to The News, he added: ‘When I wrote that letter I had thought it through. What I wrote was genuine.

‘We have had cutbacks and we are all suffering. We’ve got a recruitment problem.

‘People don’t want to become teachers.

‘They don’t want to become headteachers.

‘The big issue is that there is no voice in education.

‘I have no need for an MP to come to tell me that he’s going to change the world.

‘Let’s see some changes first.’

Mr Mak said: ‘As a former school governor and new community-focused MP I’m keen to support and visit local schools.

‘All my school visits so far have been positively received by staff and pupils.

‘I’m still happy to help Mr Harris and his school where I can, even if a visit isn’t possible.’