Tony Blair perhaps epitomises why careers in teaching fails. Around 50 per cent of new teachers leave the profession within five years. A staggering statistic that leaves schools struggling to recruit the long term leaders of tomorrow. A hidden downside is the number of poor teachers that abound possibly kept on in educational employment because their absence would leave a gap in the teaching capacity. A sad indictment to schools and children alike. Tony Blair explained in a Times interview that his son, Nicky Blair, was teacher in the West Midlands.
An example of a Teach First recruit he found teaching history at Smith’s Wood Sports College in Solihull tough. Within two years he had left the school and the profession. He is now a sports agent. Tony Blair said his son had found the role very tough and fulfilling and speaks about the job with a passion. Mr Blair also said “One of the great things that it (Teach First) does is to put young people in a situation which is immensely challenging, out of which they develop a significant amount of leadership skill and courage.” Mr Blair perhaps misses the point. The Teach First concept aims to recruit school leaders of the future, rather than train graduates for careers outside teaching. Perhaps the reason his education, education, education mantra failed, dismally.