Look after teachers to improve social mobility

Teachers need better access to wellbeing services to keep them in the profession and improve social mobility, a cross-party group of MPs has said.Today’s report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility warns that the attainment gap between children from different backgrounds is “one of the key challenges in our education system”.It cites evidence that the single most important factor in the classroom in helping disadvantaged pupils improve their attainment is “the quality of the teacher providing the instruction”.Becky Allen, then the director of the Centre for Education Improvement Science at UCL Institute of Education, told the MPs that the most disadvantaged secondary schools are more likely to have teachers with less experience and lower qualifications. And the report highlights teacher recruitment and retention as “a bigger challenge in the most disadvantaged schools and geographical areas with higher levels of deprivation”. It warns that teachers in disadvantaged schools “may need additional support in order to manage the situations that they may find themselves in”.It adds: “Professor Allen spoke about the fact that these teachers may find themselves in an environment which is more challenging due to the lives of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds inevitably spilling inside the school gates.

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