'Championing the rights of children'

Labour plan for 'Hippocratic oath' for teachers mocked on Twitter

Garry Mon 13 Oct 2014 09:22

Teachers take to Twitter to attack Labour plans to require all newly-qualified teachers to make a public statement of allegiance similar to the Hippocratic oath for doctors.

Labour plans to require all teachers to take a Hippocratic-style oath have been denounced as a condescending “gimmick”.

Teachers took to Twitter to criticise proposals – outlined by Tristram Hunt, the Shadow Education Secretary – for a new public statement of allegiance to the profession.

As part of the plan, new teachers in England would make a symbolic statement to emphasise the “moral calling and the noble profession of teaching” when they qualify to work in the classroom.

The proposals – similar to the Hippocratic oath taken by doctors – have been modelled on a system in Singapore where teachers are actually presented with a symbolic compass to point them in the right direction.

Mr Hunt said he was “very attracted by this notion of having almost a Hippocratic oath about the meaning and purpose of teaching”, adding: “It's bolstering the moment of qualification and the meaning of qualification - what it means to become a teacher.”
But the proposals were savaged on Twitter where teachers and other critics started to post mock oaths. The #teacheroath hashtag was trending on the social networking website as one of the most popular subjects of the day.

One mock oath read: “I pledge that I will leave this demoralised profession as a bitter and burnt-out shell at the earliest opportunity.”

Another read: “I pledge to work 60 hour weeks before I'm forced out with complete exhaustion.”

Others included:

  • "I pledge not to cry and hide in my cupboard when things start going wrong, and to always refill the staff room kettle if empty";
  • "I promise to nod sagely at every new and time consuming initiative that will undoubtedly be reversed in 18 months’ time";
  • "I swear to follow education policies thought up by people with no relevant experience apart from the fact they went to school";
  • "I promise to fall asleep before 8 every evening and never see the end of any film".

Read more... (Daily Telegraph - 12 October)