This is an interesting article from the Guardian today. UK teachers are getting more stressed. So much so that there has been a 10% increase in the numbers being signed off for sick leave.
You can put much of this down to the fact that Tory Education Secretary Michael Gove has spent much of 2012 slamming teachers over and over again.
How valued would you feel if the government criticised you? Over and over and over and over again and again and again? Pretty devalued?
Like in this country, much of the criticism is centred around teachers’ refusal to accept ideological based reforms such as charter schools (academies in the UK) and national standards and the associated league tables printed with glee by the mainstream media.
Recently Gove even suggested teachers should be disciplined (sacked?) if they threatened industrial action.
Does this remind you of something? 9-11? You’re with us, or against us.
It’s spin 101 really – attack the people who disagree with your policy by labelling them as extremists or mental for daring to have a contrary view. Apart from the fact we live in a free society, I thought we lived in a free society?
Surely it’s better and easier bring in reforms to a sector if the frontline workers on your side? Although when your reforms are ideologically based and not developed using evidence or best practice or the experience and wisdom of the trained professionals working in the sector then you are probably going to have a fight on your hands.
But then common sense was never a big driver of Tory policy. It’s always about the money.
Anyway, best of luck to all my UK colleagues who are struggling at the moment. I hope 2013 brings some better times for you.