A MESSAGE TO NATIONAL UNIONS:MICHAEL GOVE has declared that he is on a ‘war footing’ to drive through his attack on teachers’ pay. We mustn’t let him succeed.
Too many teachers already struggle to cope with relentless workload. Stress levels, resignations and demoralisation are rising. This is what teaching is already like in many schools before Gove tightens the screw even further. If he gets away with his plans, teaching will become a truly horrendous profession for too many.
But Gove’s plans can - and must - be beaten. If we organise effectively, and put in place a firm programme of national strike action, then we can force this Government to retreat.
This is no time for teaching unions to hesitate or retreat. We mustn’t repeat the delays of last year, when further pensions action was postponed - giving Gove the chance to step up his attacks. If unions give a clear lead, teachers will respond to their call to action. We can’t delay; it’s time to act.
A MESSAGE TO TEACHERS:Under Gove’s plans, your future pay rises will depend on your Head being satisfied with your ‘performance’. A classroom observation or exam result that is deemed to be below requirements could see your annual pay rise being blocked.
You’ll have to rely on subjective judgements and on pupil progress scores that depend on so many factors outside a teacher’s control. If your school is facing a tight budget or you don’t get on with your management, expect the worst.
Newer teachers could no longer expect to move up the main scale every year. While debts, prices and pension costs rise, they could be held back year after year, losing many £1,000’s.
More experienced teachers will find it even harder to cross the ‘threshold’ and can expect to have to take on more responsibilities to do so.
Those that do will no longer be paid on a fixed upper scale. The “amount and timing of any progression [will be] at the school’s discretion”.
‘Payment-by-results’ will set teacher against teacher, cutting across the teamwork that good schools rely upon. Disputes over colleagues’ judgements and progress scores are inevitable. Where schools try and maintain pay progression, Ofsted will be used to bully them to think again.
Teaching will become even more stressful. But if you resign or take a career break, you’ll struggle to get a new post on the same pay. Schools will no longer have to match your previous salary.
Gove’s plans will wreck education. He expects teachers to perform miracles while we have to work on to 68 or more for an uncertain income.
Our working lives will become unbearable if these plans are implemented in September. If we don’t force him back, worse is to come. He wants to worsen our hours and conditions too.
If we stand firm together, we can stop Gove. It will mean taking national strike action, perhaps several times. We have no choice but to do so.
A MESSAGE TO PARENTS:Michael Gove, the Minister for Education, is putting your child’s future education at risk.
He has scrapped building regulations so that schools don’t have to be as well heated or have so many toilets. (See: http://www.teachers.org.uk/node/12548 ) He is diverting funds to privatised Free Schools but removing the need for them to employ properly qualified teachers! (See: http://www.teachers.org.uk/node/16317)
He is rushing through changes to the way pupils are taught and assessed that teachers and education experts know are wrong - like the Phonics Test for Year 1 ( See http://www.teachers.org.uk/files/y1psc-survey-october-2012.pdf ) and an EBacc for Year 11 that cuts out creative subjects like music and art. ( See http://www.ebaccpetition.org.uk/ )
While his Government makes even more cuts and pushes ever more families into poverty, he expects teachers and schools to meet even higher targets - or be turned into Academies.
If Gove wanted to help children, he would fund schools better to reduce class sizes and employ more specialised staff, not make cuts. Instead he just blames teachers and makes things worse.
His attacks are already driving many teachers out of the profession. He now wants to cut pay.
Children need stability and support from a secure and motivated teaching staff. But the constant trashing of teachers and incessant workload mean that teacher resignations are rocketing, while staff morale is plummeting. That isn’t just bad for teachers, it’s bad for children.
Things could be about to get even worse. Gove wants to stop teachers getting pay rises unless schools say their ‘performance’ is good enough.
Official research confirms that performance-pay doesn’t improve education.
(See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-18074402 and http://www.oecd.org/pisa/50328990.pdf ) How do you fairly compare teachers with different classes? How can staff work as a team when competing for pay rises? It will just divide, demoralise and force teachers into ‘teaching-to-the-test’ instead of making sure that children enjoy their learning.
Teachers can’t let Gove wreck education. We will have to take action to try and stop him. If we have to strike, please give us your support.