ASCL comment on teacher autonomy report

29/01/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the report by the National Foundation for Educational Research about teacher autonomy.
 
Commenting on the report by the National Foundation for Educational Research about teacher autonomy, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

Schools are highly structured working environments because of the demands of timetables and consistency in the delivery of the curriculum, and this can create a tension with teacher autonomy

However, this report shows that giving teachers a greater say and more influence over their professional development may pay dividends in terms of improved job satisfaction and teacher retention

This would be a useful insight at any time, but it is particularly important now because schools are experiencing a severe shortage of teachers which is likely to become more acute over the next few years with a projected increase in the number of pupils in secondary education. 

These shortages are caused not just by the fact that the government keeps missing its targets for recruiting trainee teachers, but also because about one third then leave the profession within five years of qualifying

We have to stem this exodus and this report provides some important thinking on action which schools might take. We also need system-wide action by the government, most notably in reducing the crushing weight of performance tables and Ofsted inspections.”