Published on 24 September 2015
- Our Work
- The Reformer Blog
6 October 2015
Since I became Education Secretary, it has been a privilege to speak to hundreds of teachers across the country. Whenever I meet one of these inspirational professionals, I’m reminded of the importance of their role shaping young people and setting them up for the rest of their life.
Teaching is one of the noblest forms of public service. As a mother I see first-hand the impact teachers make. But in this job, I see the national service teachers perform transforming the life chances of young people every day.
I hope this Government’s commitment to the teaching profession is clear. As I said at the conference last year, it is teachers who turn our ambitious plans into action, and without them, government policies and plans remain just that. To deliver our vision for the next five years, we need inspirational teachers in every classroom, promoting the highest standards in every school.
Teachers should be able to focus on what they do best – inspiring and engaging young minds – not bureaucracy and paperwork. Since I became Education Secretary I have prioritised tackling unnecessary teacher workload and recently set up new working groups to address the biggest issues raised in my Workload Challenge. I want to set teachers free, not infantilize them with endless diktats. Many teachers are already coming up with innovative solutions and are keen to share what works with others. We want to facilitate and support this self-improving system.
And, while the quality of new teachers has never been higher, there’s more to do. Nothing influences the quality of education more than the quality of teaching. So we need to make sure that schools who are struggling to recruit get help to find the best talent, through our National Teaching Service.
That’s why I support Teach First, which takes some of our best graduates and places them in some of the most deprived communities, engaging young people in classrooms where educational aspiration has been neglected for too long. I also want more career changers to make the switch into teaching and give back to the next generation.
So I want more people to get into teaching – to realise the rewards it offers and the chance to engage the next generation. And I want it to be easier for people to do it across our country.Because at the heart of our social justice agenda is our determination that every young person, regardless of birth or background, can access the best our teaching profession has to offer and receives an education that allows them to every ounce of their potential.
Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education
This article was written for the Reform Annual Journal to accompany the Conservative Party Conference event “Words for life: how better literacy improves lives”.