Speeches recovered from the Conservative party‚Äôs online archive More…

May : Teachers will be Teachers

Conservatives want to ensure that every teacher is free to teach. That is why we have put forward bold and radical proposals that will mean a common sense revolution for our schools.

"We will allow teachers to teach by ensuring that schools are free from political interference; whether at local level or from Whitehall.

"We will give power back to heads, parents and governors by setting schools free from controls and plans.

"The mainstream majority of British people know that it is the individual creativity, flair and commitment of teachers that inspires our young people. We share this view.

"Visiting schools across the country I see at first hand the difference that individual teachers and their ideas can make to their schools and their pupils.

"This is common sense for most people. But it is completely alien to this Government.

"Almost everything they have done has sought to stifle the natural flair of teachers and burden them with regulations.

"It is as if they don't trust teachers to do the job that they are qualified for and experienced in.

"And that is why they have tried to turn heads into functionaries of the state and teachers into administrative staff. This is why the amount of paperwork for teachers generated by the Government has increased massively over the past four years. Teachers tell me they are fed up with the burdens of bureaucracy.

"Teachers have received a new Whitehall directive every working day since the beginning of last year.

"For Conservatives reducing paperwork is not an aspiration but a firm commitment.

"We will scrap the seventeen plans that LEAs currently have to complete for the Department for Education and Employment - including the plan to co-ordinate all the other plans.

"Conservatives will scrap the regulation that this Government have introduced that means teachers are unable to enforce discipline within their own classrooms.

"We will also scrap regulations that prevent heads from making sure that pupils in their schools wear a uniform.

"These are specific policy commitments. But this is not all we will do. We have been talking with heads and teachers about paperwork.

"We will identify the reams of paperwork that heads and teachers know is merely a distraction from their efforts to raise standards in our schools.

"And we will scrap it.

"Reducing paperwork will be at the core of our plans to make every school a Free School. More than this, however, we will change the very culture of Government in its approach to education.

"No more schemes, no more directives - just a belief, a belief shared by the mainstream majority of people in Britain, that teachers should be freed from interference and allowed to teach.

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