TWO primary school heads have launched a stinging attack on government education policy following their decision to quit teaching.

Alexandra and Peter Foggo, headteacher and deputy headteacher of Longparish Primary School, will be resigning from their posts at the end of August.

Mr Foggo, 56, said: “We have been working as Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher at Longparish Primary School for the past 11 years.

“During that time we have worked hard to achieve and secure an Ofsted rating of Outstanding for the school and are proud of the strong team that we lead. The school is very popular and over-subscribed.

“Last week we made the very difficult and sad decision to resign from our posts.

“We have been in primary education for a combined total of 49 years and never felt that we would leave before reaching retirement age.”

The husband and wife team, of Micheldever, wrote a letter to parents last week explaining their reasons for leaving.

It said: “We feel a strong connection and commitment to the school and community of Longparish and regret any surprise or disappointment our decision may cause to members of staff, parents and pupils.

“Unfortunately we find that current education policy is in such profound opposition to what we fundamentally believe in, in terms of child welfare and development, as to make our continued work in teaching untenable.

“So, after what has been a prolonged period of very difficult reflection through many long and heartfelt discussions, we feel that we must follow the only morally honest course open to us and tender our resignations from our posts at Longparish Primary School.

“This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, but one that we feel has been forced upon us. Increasingly we have found ourselves having to implement policies with which we fundamentally disagree. 

“Recent developments in education have brought our position to a point of personal, professional and ethical crisis, leading to our current decision.

“The introduction of the new primary curriculum, with its narrow focus on reading, grammar, spelling and mathematics, have led to an increasingly bland and joyless educational diet, focussed, as it is inevitably, on the high stakes tests at the end of Year 2 and Year 6.

“The excitement, creativity and wonder that we came into teaching to nurture and encourage have been largely driven out by the rote learning of facts.

"Combined with this is the increased stress and potential for mental health issues that we see resulting from the pressure placed on young children by these tests.

The letter stated the couple felt the freezing of school budgets often left them with “impossible choices to make.”

It added the drive to create new grammar schools and the reintroduction of selection education will pit students against each other and be reduced to “competition units.”

The letter ended by saying: “We very much regret having had to make the decision to leave teaching when we still feel a great passion and commitment to education.”

Due to pre-election purdah, the Department for Education was unable to offer a statement.

However it pointed out its latest announcement on primary assessment from October last year.

This committed not to introduce any more tests in primary school until 2018/19.

It also dropped the proposal to introduce Year 7 resits for those who do not achieve the expected level at Key Stage 2 (the end of primary school).

The department added the move was welcomed by the NAHT, ASCL and the NUT.