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Gibraltar schools ‘not fit for teaching’, UK union says

Gibraltar’s school buildings “are not fit to teach or learn in”, according to the majority of teachers who participated in a Gibraltar Teachers Association survey, UK teachers’ union NASUWT said yesterday.

This is the same data previously issued in a statement locally by the GTA, which is affiliated to NASUWT, except this time it has been issued by the UK union's press office and circulated on its Twitter account.

Schools lack high-quality IT equipment, adequate teaching resources and comfortable classroom temperatures, the survey found.
The survey, to which over half of Gibraltar’s NASUWT members responded, found that 76% said their school buildings are not fit to teach in and 73% said they are not good for pupils.

In addition 91% said their school buildings do not have adequate temperatures throughout the year.

Furthermore, 87% said pupils do not have access to high quality IT equipment and 62% said they are not provided with the resources they need to teach effectively.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: “Teachers cannot teach effectively and pupils cannot achieve their best if they are being taught in buildings which are not fit for the 21st century curriculum.

“Adequate classroom temperatures and high-quality IT equipment are basic prerequisites for a focused and healthy learning environment, yet the majority of teachers feel their school lacks even these basic amenities.”

“It is to be hoped that the rebuilding and refurbishment plans currently being taken forward will successfully address many of these problems, but this will only be possible if teachers are adequately consulted about the plans and sufficient funding and resources are provided.”

Victor Gonzales, NASUWT Gibraltar Association Acting President, said: “Many school buildings in Gibraltar are old, tired and not fit for purpose, as the findings of this survey demonstrate."

“These results support the Government’s decision to build new schools, refurbish those that will not get new facilities and provide better resources for teachers to teach effectively.”

“We have been assured that the issue of unreasonable classroom temperatures will be resolved in the new school builds, the NASUWT also expects the Official Side to resolve the current problems in existing schools.

“We cannot have pupils unable to learn effectively because the temperature of the class makes them uncomfortably hot or cold.”

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