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Britain’s complaining teachers – should they be doing better?

As Michael Gove tries to improve our children’s education and our teachers complain about every change made (however small) and plan protests and strikes over their pay and pensions, we might want to ask whether our teachers are giving us value for money.

There’s a study conducted by the OECD comparing children’s educational achievement – the PISA study. Over 500,000 children in more than 57 countries take part. According to this study, the UK’s performance has declined every year since 2000 (click on chart to see more clearly)

In Reading we’ve gone from 7th to 25th: in Maths from 8th to 28th: and in Science from 4th to 16th.

When the 2000 results came out, the then Education Secretary Estelle Morris seemed pretty chuffed and claimed the PISA results showed British schools were “world beaters”. As Britain’s results got worse and worse and then even worse, Labour, the BBC and of course the teachers’ newspaper the Guardian, have continually tried to trash the PISA findings by claiming they are “riddled with errors”, “inconsistent” and “misleading”. I rather doubt these accusations would have been made if the PISA results had suggested Britain’s educational performance was improving.

It’s true that there are other international studies of educational levels and that different studies can come up with different results. But if you look at the PISA tables, you’ll see that those countries with the best educational results tend to be those which are most successful economically.

Of course, teachers only bear part of the responsibility for the shameful underperformance of our schools. Parents who fail to discipline their children and fail to inculcate in them the importance of education must also take a large part of the blame.

But as Britain continues to slip further and further down compared to other countries, perhaps our ever-complaining strike-happy teachers should look at their own results and conclude “should do better”.

(click on title to read comments or leave a comment)

1 comment to Britain’s complaining teachers – should they be doing better?

  • Colin Hawes

    Glad somebody else has noticed the failing standards.

    Trouble is the lack of discipline and general low quality liberal minded graduates being churned out as teachers after loafing around for several years in glorified colleges calling themselves universities.

    Unless there is radical reform and improvement of ,not only ,poor teaching but the general malaise affecting society then all that lies ahead for Britain is third world status.

    Could start with spending less time on holidays and more time in school teaching the feral brats at least the 3 ‘R’s as most brats in school or leaving are now incapable of even basic numeracy or literacy skills…and scrap these ideas of excluding troublesome brats..beat them until they understand and the jokingly called ‘parents’ if they are known lol!!!!

    Onward and downward liberals and wets …. Thanks for nothing.

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