A former Mathematics teacher and UKIP member of the European Parliament has called for Jeremy Corbyn to apologise after making comments which appeared to denigrate the work of all teachers in the UK.
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."
UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott, a former Mathematics teacher, said: “Corbyn’s remarks send 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.
“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.”
Mr. Arnott also called upon the teaching unions, who were quick to attack Nicky Morgan for wanting 11-year-olds to know their times tables, to condemn Corbyn’s serious remarks. He continued:
“Jeremy Corbyn seems to be getting a free pass from the teaching unions over 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.”