Young teachers’ careers being blighted by discrimination

Nearly half of young teachers say they have been discriminated against during their career because of their age, a conference organised by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, has heard.

And two thirds of young teachers at the NASUWT’s Young Teachers’ Consultation Conference today (Saturday) in Birmingham said they had experienced bullying and harassment at work, with over a quarter being bullied by senior management in their schools.

A real-time electronic poll of members attending the Conference found that:

  • Nearly half (48%) had been discriminated against because of their age while working as a teacher;
  • Over a quarter (28%) had experienced bullying and harassment from senior management. Overall, two thirds had experienced bullying at work, either from management, colleagues, pupils or parents;
  • Excessive workload was the main concern of three quarters of young teachers;
  • All (100%) said that they do not think government understands the day-to-day realities of teaching and 85% feel the government does not respect or value teachers;
  • Over two thirds (69%) say that pay matters to new recruits and those considering teaching as a career and 40% say that secure employment and fair access to pay progression would most encourage them to stay in teaching long-term.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, who addressed the conference, said:

“It was clear that the young teachers at the conference are absolutely and fully committed to being great teachers and to serving the children and young people they teach.

“However, it is deeply worrying, although unfortunately not surprising, that their commitment is being undermined by bullying and harassment and their energy and enthusiasm sapped by excessive workload and working hours.

“The Coalition Government has created a climate in which poor management practices can flourish, which is why the incidence of bullying and harassment is increasing.

“Young teachers are the future of the profession, a future which is being severely compromised by this Coalition's failure to encourage and secure employment practices which nurture and value teachers and their professionalism."

Notes to editors
The Young Teachers’ Consultation Conference is an annual event which was open to any member aged under 30.

Young teachers gathered at the conference to discuss the challenges facing the teaching profession, the impact of the Coalition Government’s policies on children and young people and to engage in professional development workshops.

Lena Davies
Press & Media Officer
0121 457 6250/07867 392 746