Wales

Teachers 'surrogate social workers' to pupils, NUT Cymru says

Potty Image copyright (C) British Broadcasting Corporation

Teachers are becoming "surrogate social workers" to children who are not ready to start school, a union has said.

NUT Cymru said some young pupils enter reception class still in nappies and cannot communicate properly.

The union appealed for greater support for parents to give their children "basic life skills".

The Welsh government said support programmes are in place to ensure children are ready for school.

Owen Hathway, NUT Cymru's policy officer told BBC Wales' Y Sgwrs programme: "Teachers say that it's impacting on their ability to educate children in classes, when they are spending more and more time outside doing the roles that are really not the responsibility of a teacher.

Toilet trained

"Teachers have almost become some kind of surrogate social workers in some instances.

"Of course it is incumbent on a teacher to spot the needs of children, and work with parents to support them when needed.

"But when we are talking about basic skills, such as the ability to use the toilet, these are things we would expect children to come to school with."

A government spokesman said support programmes included the "Flying Start Programme" and "Education Begins at Home" which encourages parents to get involved in their child's education.

Y Sgwrs, S4C, 21:30 GMT on Wednesday

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