Education & Family

Morgan pledges to tackle 'poor' schools

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Nicky Morgan remains as education secretary and women's minister

Nicky Morgan has pledged to work with teachers to guarantee an excellent local school for every child.

Mrs Morgan said her top priorities would be to tackle poor school performance and ensure "lots of good and excellent teachers" across England.

The newly reappointed education secretary said she would continue her work to rebuild bridges with the teaching profession.

"It's about listening," Mrs Morgan told the Press Association.

Relations between the Department for Education and some members of the teaching profession, particularly the unions, deteriorated during the previous government.

Some teachers blamed the former Education Secretary, Michael Gove, for being antagonistic and for alienating, rather than engaging with, teachers.

Tackling workload

Asked how she intended to win back the profession, Mrs Morgan said: "In the 10 months I was here before the election I visited many schools up and down the country, spoke to over 900 teachers, and I'm going to be doing much more of that now that I'm back in position.

"It's about listening, it's about hearing what they've got to say, tackling things like workload, Ofsted inspections, and building on all the lessons I've learned in the last 10 months."

Mrs Morgan said the Conservatives had set out plans to tackle coasting and failing schools in their manifesto.

"The prime minister, in his address to the 1922 Committee, was talking about social justice, about governing for one nation - and education being the great life-transforming opportunity for all, and that's exactly what I want to be doing," she said.

She agreed this would mean the creation of more free schools and academies, as well as "working with the teaching profession to make sure that every child has an excellent local school to attend and that we have lots of good and excellent teachers across the country".

Before the general election, David Cameron announced that a Conservative government would open 500 more free schools over the next five years and would turn every failing and coasting secondary school into an academy.

Universities

Mrs Morgan was also asked whether responsibility for universities, which currently comes under the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, was likely to change hands.

But she insisted this decision was "very much a matter for the prime minister".

"I'm very much looking forward to getting on with my role as secretary of state for education and minister for women and equalities and I feel incredibly fortunate to be re-appointed," she said.

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), welcomed Mrs Morgan's commitment to tackling unnecessary workload.

"We know that excessive workload is the key reason for teachers leaving the profession," said Dr Bousted, adding that "the crisis in teacher recruitment is the greatest problem facing Nicky Morgan".

In an open letter to the education secretary, Dr Bousted said she was also was extremely concerned about the impact of severe budgetary constraints "on schools which have already been cut to the bone".

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites