By Voice General Secretary Deborah Lawson
As the General Election draws closer, government focus is on the implementation of policy developed over the last four years. The attention of the new Education Secretary and her ministerial team in England is no different.
After four years of little meaningful engagement with the unions and even less regard to evidence provided by the profession through the plethora of consultations, the previous Secretary of State earlier this year committed to a programme of talks with the education/teacher unions to aid the implementation of policy and mitigate any unintended consequences.
Although there is no scope to negotiate change to policy already introduced, the talks do provide a welcome opportunity to influence how policy is implemented.
The talks have identified some common ground for unions and the Government, especially in relation to unnecessary bureaucracy, and Voice has provided evidence of bureaucracy that impacts on members’ workload.
Progress is being made as the result of our concerns about workload and the factors which contribute to it. The Teachers’ Workload Diary Survey published by the DfE earlier this year served to confirm the concerns that are expressed to us by teachers and which contribute to so many of them leaving the profession.
We hope that ministers and DfE officials, having experienced the benefit of positive engagement with the profession through the unions, will choose to work with them to develop policy in future and not just to implement it.
[From article written for August 2014 Your Voice.]