Fiona Phillips: ‘Breakdown time for our brilliant teachers abandoned by the Tories’

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We are all, I think it’s safe to say, in some form or another, going through our own kind of personal darkness during this bleak, ­hopeless, protracted period.

I cannot imagine, though, waking up each and every day knowing that I am going to be walking through the doors of hell each time I turn up for the job I used to love.

Tragically, that kind of scenario, is one that thousands of erstwhile professionals are now facing on a daily basis. Facing up to their work as a sense of duty, rather than for the sheer love of it.

The professions we’re hearing most about right now are medicine and its offshoots, and education.

Most parents are, by now, at their wits’ end with homeschooling, while, at the same time, in schools, many teachers are on the brink of leaving the profession they love, a profession they’ve spent most of their lives working towards and then practising; shaping young lives and characters as well as their futures.

It’s a vocation that requires skill, patience, duty, passion, knowledge, emotional intelligence, sensitivity – I could go on and on. No day is the same. There are huge highs and massive lows.

Unfortunately, one head teacher, Liam, whose professional frustration I featured on this page some months ago, was back in touch this week with a sad tale, which floored me when I read his thoughts: “I have left the profession, retiring at a ridiculously young age, despite the many years I could have given.

“Mental wellbeing is too important and there are head teachers who are sacrificing their own sanity at the moment to graft for our children, despite the truly awful experience of dealing with an Education Minister who simply doesn’t care and is not fit for office. I had at least 10 more years to give to the profession. I just couldn’t do it any more.”

And that is it. There are no words. Teachers leaving the profession they love because they have no faith in an inept Department for Education.

And in light of that, maybe ­homeschooling isn’t so bad after all.