Teacher quits profession as 'nappy-changing and potty training' cut time available to teach pupils

ANGLIA 270423 TEACHERS STRIKING Lianne Philpott 
Primary school teacher Lianne Philpott is leaving the profession after 12 years. Credit: c/o Lianne Philpott.

A primary school teacher says she is quitting the profession without a job to go because the extra pressures of the job - including changing children's nappies - are leaving her less time to teach.

Lianne Philpott, an early years teacher in Bedfordshire who has been working in the education sector for 12 years, told ITV News Anglia she could no longer stay in the job and feel like she is "failing the children".

She was speaking as teachers this week staged more industrial action across the country, walking out in a dispute with the government over pay and conditions.

"Going into school in September this year I had 14 children that weren't even potty trained," she said.

"Now we've managed to potty train some - I've got five remaining in nappies at this point of the year - that's the reality of the classroom.

Three more strike days are planned for the summer term Credit: ITV News Anglia

"I'm not actually able to teach at the moment because I'm too spending too much time dealing with all the additional needs coming in without the resources to effectively discharge my duties.

"Keeping children safe has been my main job for this year and if I can get teaching in that's a bonus."

She said teachers were having to pick up extra responsibilities which historically had fallen to parents.

"I think this push to get children into education earlier and earlier is devaluing the role of the parent at home, so we're having to pick that up within schools, rather than actually teaching," added Ms Philpott.

Members of the National Education Union at a rally in Dunstable. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The primary school teacher took part in a rally in Dunstable in Bedfordshire on Thursday, in the National Education Union's long-running dispute over pay.

She said the lack of funding for support staff and the lack of flexibility in the profession had seen many teachers already quitting.

"There's a lot of forums online about teachers exiting the classroom," she said. "I don't want to be having to buy the Pritt sticks and the pencils for my classroom - I shouldn't be needing to use my money. That's the government's responsibility, not mine."

The government offered teachers a £1,000 one-off payment for the current school year (2022/23) and an average 4.5% pay rise for staff next year.

The union says the government must increase its offer and provide more resources.

Three more strike days are planned in June and July.

A Department for Education spokesperson said the strike action was "hugely damaging", and reiterated that the government had made "a fair and reasonable pay offer to teachers recognising their hard work and commitment".

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