Older teachers ‘bullied out of schools’

Age discrimination has become one of the biggest concerns among teachers, according to the NASUWT teaching union.The union’s members have voted to put a motion on campaigning to end age discrimination in schools at the top of the ballot list at this year’s annual conference in Belfast.

General secretary Chris Keates told Tes that older teachers were being “bullied out of schools” by being put under more scrutiny than younger colleagues, often because they’re more expensive.

“They will tell us that these are anything but support programmes, and that they’re not designed to help them but to put them under pressure so they’ll leave.”

The same motion also condemns the increase of teachers’ retirement age, and the fostering of a culture of “work until you drop”. It also highlights concerns that many teachers who are being forced into early retirement experience “serious financial hardship”.

The motion, to be debated in the second public session of the conference, on 20 April, also highlights concerns about the “large number of experienced teachers leaving the profession”.

It calls for action to continue to campaign for “effective and supportive employment practices in schools and colleges that value and support older teachers” and for “recognition from all government and administrations of the valuable contribution which experienced teachers make”.