02/01/2014 06:09 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 08:17 GMT

Only 6% Of Teachers Support Michael Gove's Free Schools Policy

Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment
Education Secretary Michael Gove speaks to delegates during the Conservative Conference 2013, held at Manchester Central

Only 6% of teachers think the coalition's academies and free schools programme is taking education in England in the right direction, a poll published on Thursday has found.

The survey carried out by YouGov for the National Union of Teachers (NUT) also revealed that an overwhelming 82% thought Michael Gove's flagship schools policy was wrong.

Almost four fifths (79%) of teachers also felt that the government’s impact on education had been negative. Only 4% of respondents thought ministers had made a positive difference to the education system since 2010.

Of the 826 polled by YouGov, 74% said their morale had declined since the last general election.

Unsurprisingly given their view of Gove's handling of schools policy, the poll found that only 12% of teachers would vote Conservative if the general election were held tomorrow. And just 6% said they would vote Lib Dem. 43% of teachers would vote for the Labour Party.

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the NUT, said the survey made it "abundantly clear that both teachers and head teachers do not see their policies as being in the best interests of children or the profession".

“The NUT cannot recall a time over its 144 year history when Government policy has been so roundly condemned by the teaching profession. With a general election round the corner, David Cameron and Nick Clegg need to completely change tack if they are to attract the support of teachers and start improving the life chances of our children and young people," she said.

Almost half of teachers, 49%, also reported that malnutrition or hunger was affecting the ability of pupils to concentrate. The coalition will likely point to its new free school meals for all 5-7 year olds as evidence it is trying to tackle the problem.