Our children need proper teachers, not form-fillers

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There will be many reading our stories today about the crisis in the classroom who will have little, if any, sympathy for teachers.

‘Here they go again,’ they will sigh. ‘Moaning about long hours when they get months of holidays each year plus so-called inset days which are just an excuse for another skive.’

Former Portsmouth primary school teacher Jake Rusby complains about working 14-hour days, five days consecutively and having to work at weekends.

Most making a living in the private sector will splutter into their 10.30pm evening meal at that. That is now the way of the world in these post-recession, no-staff days.

And let’s get one thing straight. For the dedicated teacher little has changed in the past 40 years.

Long nights spent marking at the kitchen table. Weekends wiped out by lesson-planning for the week ahead. That has always been part and parcel of being a teacher. That was work which was done to benefit the child and most teachers who loved their job accepted it.

However, what has changed beyond recognition is the crazy and ever-growing amount of bureaucracy, pointless meetings, Ofsted inspections and the like which teachers are compelled to do these days. Their predecessors would also have baulked and probably walked away from the profession had they been faced with all that.

How sad it is to read that the wellbeing and personal development of children is now taking second place to passing exams.

In the cut-throat world of life, of course academic achievement has to be a priority.

But so too is turning out well-rounded, mature and responsible young people regardless of whether they have a string of A* grades.