Wythenshawe MP tackles teacher workload in new role as schools spokesman
Wythenshawe MP, Mike Kane, has returned to Labour’s front bench team as schools spokesman for the party.
Mr Kane quit his post as shadow international development minister earlier this year amidst a wave of shadow cabinet resignations which led to a bruising Labour leadership battle between Jeremy Corbyn and challenger Owen Smith.
Following Mr Corbyn’s re-election as leader with an increased mandate from party members, a number of MPs who resigned accepted jobs in a reshuffled shadow cabinet.
Mr Kane, a former primary school teacher, says he is delighted to have been appointed schools spokesman, working alongside fellow Greater Manchester MP and shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner.
And the Wythenshawe MP hit the ground running this week when he tackled the government on the issue of excessive workload for teachers which, according to the Education Policy Institute is causing ill health in the profession.
In a question to Tory minister, Nick Gibb,. Mr Kane said the teaching union, the NAS/UWT has found that half of teachers have been to see a doctor in the past year due to work-related illness, and one in 10 have been prescribed antidepressants.
He said: “We know that the Minister is on the record as not valuing those of us with the postgraduate certificate in education, but can he not see that the Government’s failure to support teachers is at the heart of the crisis in teachers’ morale?”
Mr Gibb said the government understood the challenges in the teaching profession and are taking action.
The EPI survey found that:
- Teachers in England are working an average of 48.2 hours a week with a fifth working more than 60 hours- longer than in most other countries.
- Long working hours are hindering teachers’ access to continuing professional development.
- Long hours, low starting pay and limited access to professional development create a risk of teacher ‘burn out’, especially in the early stages of careers.