92% of teachers think Gavin Williamson should quit, snap polling finds

Gavin Williamson leaving No 10

Education secretary Gavin Williamson - Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

An overwhelming majority of England's teachers believe education secretary Gavin Williamson should resign, snap polling has found.

In response to a question posed by app Teacher Tapp, carried out on behalf of ITV News, 92% of almost 6,000 respondents said they think Williamson should quit.

The results come as the government faces mounting criticism of its handling of the crisis from union and headteachers.

Former Tory education minister Justine Greening said the government had clearly now "lost the confidence" of teachers.

The former cabinet secretary told ITV News: "The poll underlines the lack of confidence there now is in the education strategy from the government.

"That has to change because we enter the coming months where children will be back out of school, back at home and there isn't confidence that our young people's education is going to be able to continue.

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"We need a plan for whilst they're out of school, we need a plan for helping young people catch up when schools are back open again and we need a longer levelling up plan."

Greening added pressure on the prime minister to act, adding: "This poll suggests that there isn't trust there with teachers as things stand. I don't get to pick and choose who is in cabinet.

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"That's a matter for the prime minister, but trust will come back with a plan and with a team that people have confidence can deliver that plan."

Williamson has been facing calls for his resignation following a series of U-turns and fiascos which are said to have caused huge stress for pupils, parents and teachers.

He has also been accused of moving too slow to announce a change to England's exam schedule and faced a barrage of criticism for failing to provide disadvantaged pupils with laptops so they can learn remotely.

Downing Street has resisted calls to sack the under-fire minister.

On Wednesday, No 10 said the prime minister continues to have confidence in Williamson and believes he is the best person for the job.

The prime minister's press secretary Allegra Stratton told reporters Williamson had produced a "full and comprehensive" package of measures for children who will be educated at home.

"It's a huge brief and the prime minister believes the education secretary is doing it to his utmost ability," Stratton said.

The survey was conducted by Teacher Tapp on the 6 January 2021 and asked 5,808 teaching professionals: “Should Gavin Williamson resign?” 92% respondents said "yes" with 8% saying "no".

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