What would happen if we put people first?

You only need to look at our working hours and student attendance figures to realise that our education system is not putting people first. Helen Osgood considers what might happen if we changed focus
Image: Adobe Stock -

Watching television last night, I was struck by the phrase: “This is our vocation – it is our privilege to help people.”

This is a common perception in many public sector jobs – teaching included – and while it is true that working with children is a real privilege, that does not mean that workers can be treated unfairly or taken advantage of.

To take just one example, teaching assistants are increasingly employed to work only while children are in school – so around 8:30am to 3:30pm for 39 weeks. However, it is often expected that they will arrive before the children and remain after they have gone home – sometimes attending meetings and events into the evening. This is the nature of “goodwill”.

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