Pupils lose out as older, experienced teachers are forced out of their jobs

Despite the Government extolling the virtues of people working longer, older teachers, particularly women, feel under-valued and are often pressurised to leave their jobs well before their pension age, the Annual Conference of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, has heard today.

Representatives at the Conference in Birmingham debated a motion calling for a culture shift in schools to ensure that older teachers are valued for their experience and expertise and for strategies to tackle the increasing age discrimination against older teachers, including threats of capability procedures and job loss.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“The Government now expects people to work longer, but the irony in teaching is that those with the experience and expertise are in too many cases being hounded out of the profession because they are older and more expensive.

“Older teachers are disproportionately facing being placed on capability procedures, report being denied access to professional development and are often put under intense pressure to leave their job.

“The losers of course are not just the teachers themselves, who often are forced out of a career they love, but the pupils, who are losing experienced, specialist teachers.

“The lack of action by the Government to promote respect and dignity for working people has led to a culture of disrespect and discrimination in schools.”

NASUWT Press Office contacts:
Ben Padley 07785 463 119
Lena Davies 07867 392 746
Sarah Cull 07920 711 069

Notes to editors
The NASUWT’s Annual Conference is being held at the ICC in Birmingham from 25-28 March.

The full text of the motion is below:

Executive to move,
Belfast to second:
Conference resolves to continue to oppose the unacceptably high pension age for teachers and deplores the impact on teachers’ health and wellbeing resulting from unacceptable working practices, such as punitive performance management measures, and the increasing physical and mental demands of the job.
Conference congratulates the National Executive and NASUWT members for implementing continuous industrial action since 2011 against attacks on pensions across the UK.
Conference further congratulates the National Executive for ensuring that further consideration of the link between the teachers’ normal pension age and the state pension age was included in the
DfE’s Teachers Working Longer Review.
Conference asserts that, without significant improvements to working conditions for all teachers, many teachers will continue to leave the teaching profession well before their normal pension age.
Conference urges the National Executive to continue to press for:
a complete change of culture in the way that older teachers are treated;
robust and routine collection of equalities data by schools and employers, so that action may be taken against discriminatory working practices;
a review of the implications of teachers working longer to be extended to all parts of the UK and
an improvement in working conditions for teachers of all ages.
(Executive, Belfast)

Sarah Cull
Press and Media Officer
0121 457 6239 / 07920 711069