Teachers also told me about the excessive workload and bureaucratic burdens they face, and about the impact of changes to pay and pensions arrangements.
The Coalition’s education policies are letting down our children and letting down teachers.
Successive governments have pitched schools and colleges against one another, with league tables and increasing competition for funding.
Teachers are forced to focus on children passing tests rather than on genuine learning.
Our schools can now be run for profit, without any proper structures to hold them to account.
And parents, communities, teachers, pupils and local authorities are no longer guaranteed a proper say in their local schools.
I want to see teachers allowed to get on with teaching, children allowed to get on with learning, and schools allowed to be schools rather than businesses.
So in a week when the media is full of – often deeply irresponsible and inaccurate - stories about religious extremism in our schools, it’s disappointing to see Michael Gove promising yet more Ministerial meddling in our classrooms, when what we really need is reassurances that he has proper strategic oversight of the education system.
I think that should include ensuring no religious or other interest groups has influence over our young people’s education, and that all schools supported by the state are required to offer an evidence based curriculum.
Sadly, his Free Schools free for all has made that oversight virtually impossible.
Despite the many challenges facing them, the many Brighton and Hove teachers I have met remain committed to doing their best.
I promise to keep standing up for each of them, each of our young people, and for education for all.
Image: Caroline with constituents Jim Browning, Angela Coulter, Fleur Shorthouse and Val Knight.