CONCERNS that older teachers will affect East Lancashire’s schools have been voiced.

Government plans for the pension age to be increased has seen fears from teachers and unions that education will suffer.

Blackburn with Darwen representative for the NUT and National executive member Simon Jones said the proposals for people to work longer will impact on schools.

Mr Jones said the NUT would be tackling the issue. He said: “For some jobs, working to 68 and beyond is simply impossible. No one wants 70-year-old teachers in classrooms full of infants or teenagers.

“The NUT campaign to protect teachers and defend education, with the NASUWT alongside, shows that we are determined to resist these attacks.”

Retired headteacher Alasdair Coates said he felt the move would create teachers who were ‘out of touch’ with students.

The 61-year-old retired from St Christopher’s High School, Accrington, this year but still works with schools on a consultancy basis.

He said: “I don’t see the value in forcing teachers to work for longer because you will simply see a large proportion of teachers who are out of touch with students who are so much younger.

“It’s really important that teachers can understand the lifestyle and language of their pupils and the older teachers get, the less easy that is.

“I met a teacher in his late sixties recently who was discussing using new technology in schools and he was clearly struggling with the concepts. When you are teaching pupils who will know much more about that than you do, it is a problem.”

In his Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne, said the state pension age will vary according to average life expectancy. It will be set with the aim of ensuring that people spend no more than a third of their expected lifespan drawing a pension.

According to government officials, the changes are likely to mean that someone in their 20s today will be expected to work until they reach the age of 70.

An increase in the retirement age to 69 is expected to fall in the mid 2040s, potentially affecting those in their late 30s, while people in their late 20s are likely to have to work until their 70th birthdays in the 2050s.