Gavin Williamson’s new job is an insult to teachers using food banks

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The government’s pay offer to teachers so far is derisory (Teaching unions warn of strikes in England despite reports of improved pay offer, 1 July). What makes it even more insulting is the news that Gavin Williamson, education secretary during the lockdowns, is about to earn £50,000 a year for a part-time second job advising an education firm chaired by a Tory donor, which has itself given large sums to the party (Report, 29 June).

Teachers could not have done more; Williamson could hardly have done less. Guidance from the Department for Education routinely arrived just in time to blight holidays and weekends, laptops for students in digital poverty were delivered so slowly that some were still waiting a year later. Goodness knows that there’s enough micromanagement of teachers, so surely there could have been some nudging of suppliers and civil servants to get resources out on time.

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But it’s not just the lack of recognition for services that teachers rendered to children which piled on crippling overtime to their workload. It’s the impact of decades of pay freezes that have taken some teachers from the heights of the Houghton pay award in the 1970s to the food banks of 2022.
Yvonne Williams
Ryde, Isle of Wight

In securing a job paying £625 per hour, Gavin Williamson is a beacon of hope for many people struggling to manage during these inflationary times. Perhaps he could tell us where this “job” was advertised so that we can keep our eyes peeled for further opportunities?
Les Bright
Exeter, Devon

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