Majority of teachers find DfE guidance ‘unhelpful’

·  Only 10% think DfE remote and in-school guidance was helpful

·  Over 80% dissatisfied with how DfE has listened to COVID-19 teaching feedback

An overwhelming majority of teachers found Department for Education guidance relating to remote and in-school teaching unhelpful, according to a new poll by the Chartered College of Teaching. At the same time, over 80% of teachers are dissatisfied with how DfE has listened to feedback on its COVID-19 response. 

With DfE looking at issuing updated remote guidance, members of the Chartered College highlighted greater consultation and timely guidance as key areas that DfE needs to do differently. 

Over 800 members of the Chartered College of Teaching, the professional body for teaching, responded to the survey reflecting on DfE’s COVID-19 response. The poll found that only 10% of teachers found DfE’s guidance for remote learning and in-school learning for vulnerable students and those of critical workers to be helpful. 

In their comments, teachers called on DfE to “listen to front line staff” and “give schools more notice and to show support and understanding.” Information was requested to be provided in a “timely manner and not late on a Friday evening”. Trust frequently appeared in the comments from teachers, asking that DfE “support schools to make their own decisions based on what they know is best for their community.”

“These results are, unfortunately, not in the least bit surprising. Teachers have had to contend with guidance that has kept changing, arrived at the last minute and failed to take into account their experiences and knowledge. 

Our teachers and school leaders are experts. Listen to them. They know their pupils, their schools and their communities. It is of the highest importance that their insights are taken into account. Despite all this, our teachers have again and again shown unrelenting professionalism, positivity and done what is best for their pupils despite the huge pressure they are under. Our teachers deserve the thanks of all in society. And they deserve to be treated with consideration and respect.” 

Professor Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching