Teacher = parent, physician, psychologist and…

Aisling Brown

One of the most worrying trends I’m observing in the Conservative education drive is the increasing movement of responsibility from parents to teachers. While I applaud the discussion and raised profile of FGM and of mental health issues (among others), it seems that the government and media are identifying these as yet more additions to the teacher’s job role. Where do they fit?

For example, my sister teaches Early Years in a London primary. They do have a breakfast club, but a significant proportion of the students in her school are not brought in in time for this and have not had breakfast at all. It is of course impossible for children (or adults) to concentrate while hungry, so that is half an hour out of the school day to feed them, while still aiming for implausible targets. On a similar level, the school also runs a get fit club…

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