Teachers' union the NASUWT has warned that pupils are losing out in the classroom because older teachers are being forced out of their jobs because of age discrimination by school management.
NASUWT conference warns of ageism in teaching
At a recent educational conference, the NASUWT union has warned against the risk of allowing age discrimination against older teachers to thrive in schools.
At the conference on Sunday, Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT claimed that school children would suffer if experienced teachers are allowed to be pushed out before reaching their pension age because of ageism.
The NASUWT also highlighted a gender dimension to age discrimination in schools. Chris Keates argued that women are more at risk than men from being both under-valued and pressurised into quitting their posts before retirement.
Teacher leaving roles early has helped cause a massive teacher shortage, said be to “one of the worse […] since the Second World War”. Low starting salaries and slow pay progression had also contributed to the problem, as has the difficulty in attracting new teachers to the profession.
Age discrimination in schools
The union has demanded a culture change to keep older teachers in schools, as well as new strategies to tackle age discrimination in the workplace.
The NASUWT has called on the Government to ensure that ageing teachers are not penalised for their experience and expertise, but rather are valued for the skills they bring to the role.
Ms Keates warned that industrial action could take place if the situation does not improve.