UKIP MEP and former teacher Jonathan Arnott calls on Corbyn to apologise for insults to teachers

Teachers up and down the UK do a fantastic job of educating the next generation.  They prepare challenging, engaging lessons.  They motivate, encourage, discipline and inspire.  They work ridiculously long hours during term-time – the actual teaching time is dwarfed by the preparation and planning – and yes, they do get long holidays to compensate.

But yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn – who as a teenager taught a little Geography in Jamaica – slapped down hard-working teachers up and down the country in the most appalling way: “I worked out what all teachers do. If you are a chapter ahead of the class you are okay – until you have a really bright kid, and then you have got a problem.”

It sends out a message to all teachers: The Leader of the Labour Party does not value the work that you do.  To him, your professional skills are nothing more than reading from a textbook and regurgitating what you’ve read.  As a former Mathematics teacher, I speak from personal experience when I say that I know how difficult and rewarding a job it can be. It’s about having a passion for your subject, caring about the future of your students and finding ways to make challenging ideas easy to understand.

I’m disappointed that the teaching unions – so quick to attack Nicky Morgan for wanting 11-year-olds to know their times tables – have remained silent on this.  Jeremy Corbyn seems to be getting a free pass from one of the biggest insults of an entire profession by a political leader in modern times.

I call upon him to unreservedly apologise to the teaching profession for his shocking ignorance of this valuable career.

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