Ruffley Warns of Risk of Future Teacher Shortage in Suffolk Following New Independent Report

Wednesday, 15 January, 2003

MP calls for schools to be freed from inept Whitehall interference

David Ruffley MP warned that 1981 teachers could leave Suffolk's schools over the next five years. A survey conducted by MORI and the General Teaching Council has found that one in three of all teachers expect to leave teaching within five years, protesting about workload, government interference and poor pupil behaviour.

Responding, Bury St Edmunds MP, David Ruffley pledged to give heads and governors the right to run their schools as they see fit, giving them the freedom to innovate and drive up standards. David Ruffley said:

'Since Labour came to power, Suffolk's schools have been burdened with unnecessary paperwork, gimmicky initiatives and arbitrary targets imposed by Whitehall civil servants. Worse, school discipline has been undermined, by Whitehall preventing unruly pupils from being expelled. As a result, this worrying new survey reveals that a third of all teachers may quit in the next five years. According to this independent survey across Suffolk's schools, we could see an exodus of over 1981 teachers.

'I do not believe that Whitehall bureaucrats should be micro-managing our schools. Instead, I want pledge to make heads, teachers, governors and parents the key players in driving up standards of learning and discipline. We will give them the choice to take control of the running of their school.'