ATL welcomes incoming president

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Press release
28 August 2015 by ATL Media Office
Excessive workload and constant changes in education leaves teachers with little time to do work that benefits students' learning, warns the incoming president of ATL, Kim Knappett.

Excessive workload and constant changes in education leaves teachers with little time to do work that benefits students' learning, warns the incoming president of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

South-east London born and based, Kim Knappett, will take over as president of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) from 1 September 2015.

Mrs Knappett, a secondary school science teacher in Forrest Hill, will set-out the issues she is most passionate about during her presidential year, at a reception on the evening of Thursday 3 September in London*.

A science teacher for almost 30 years, Kim believes that the Government needs to give teachers:

* the 'time' to do the work that matters to students and has an impact on them;

* the space to 'talk' to colleagues, to share concepts, to solve problems and to develop new ideas;

* and, most of all, to 'trust' education professionals to know what is best and let them get on with the job.

Mrs Knappett said: "With teachers' excessive workload and the constant changes to education, teachers are left with little time do the things that really count with their students. As a teacher, I know personally that the night before teaching I sometimes have to spend time doing things that I know will not really impact my students, and there are more effective things I could do.

"That is why I want teachers to be able to re-claim the time they need to do the job they, as educational professionals, know inside-out. I also want the Government to trust teachers to get on with the job."

"We've lost trust from the Government; we need to look at how we can get it back.

"Teachers also don't get time to talk anymore; it's one of the big changes I've seen in 30 years. There used to be time to sit in the staffroom and talk; we used to share ideas, we used to share resources, which we don't do now because there isn't time to talk."

Further notes:

Kim Knappett was elected president of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) for the year from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2016.

Kim started her teaching career in 1987 where she taught science in Northolt, Middlesex, for two years before returning to south-east London where she now teaches at a boy's school in Forest Hill.

She started her own education at Stillness Infant and Junior schools and Sydenham Girls Secondary school, London. She went on to do her chemistry degree at University College London and her PGCE at King's College London.

Kim joined AMMA (the Assistant Masters and Mistresses Association), a fore runner to ATL, in 1986 as a student. She has been an active member of the inner London ATL branch since graduating and on ATL's ruling executive committee since 2002.

*Kim Knappett will be giving her presidential address on at Thursday 3 September 2015 at 6.30pm, in Westminster.

Notes to editors

  1. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing approximately 170,000 teachers, headteachers, lecturers and support staff in maintained and independent nurseries, schools, sixth form, tertiary and further education colleges in the United Kingdom.
  2. ATL exists to help members, as their careers develop, through first rate research, advice, information and legal advice.
  3. ATL is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). ATL is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.