YEP says: Why we must take notice of Maria Townsend

Maria Townsend.'PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Maria Townsend.'PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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IF A headteacher as experienced – and respected – as Maria Townsend feels that they can no longer do their job to the best of their abilities because of Government interference, what hope is there for the rest of the profession?

After a 30-year career, the head of Raynville Primary School in Bramley, Leeds, feels that she has no more to give because of “the crushing wave of Government reforms and initiatives”.

The final straw was new performance tests which Mrs Townsend describes as “unbelievably tough” and which prompted parents in some areas to withdraw children from lessons earlier in the week.

At a time when there is a chronic shortage of teachers, schools cannot afford to lose leaders of the calibre of Mrs Townsend.

Even Ofsted concurs. Their most recent report praised the head’s “highly positive impact” and “her very high expectations”.

In other words, parents and pupils could not hope for more. The sadness is that the relationship between the Government and teaching profession is now so strained that Nicky Morgan, the current Education Secretary, probably won’t have the courtesy to reply to this letter.

It’s a shame because a more enlightened politician would be offering Mrs Townsend a job – as education advisor.