Promoted by David Beale, 36 Pleasant View, Withnell, Chorley PR6 8SE on behalf of Martin Powell-Davies of TUSC.

Saturday 26 September 2009

Tories plan draconian attacks on teachers and education

After Ed Balls’ announcement last weekend that schools should expect £2 billion cuts, comes confirmation that a Conservative Government are planning even more draconian attacks on teachers and education.

The Guardian and TES report that Michael Gove’s draft Education Bill will include regulations that would allow a further acceleration in the break-up of Local Authority schooling. Under the Tories, private sponsors would find it even easier to set up Academies, supposedly to help ‘raise standards’ - despite clear evidence that many Academies are struggling compared to community comprehensive schools. While privatisation through Academies and Trusts has been largely restricted to secondary education under New Labour, a future Conservative Government would also encourage their rapid expansion into primary education as well.

The Tories’ plans are also set to include a stark threat to teachers and teacher unions – the end of our national pay and conditions arrangements. This would mean that even the weak protections in the existing School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document would be thrown aside. Faced with spending cuts, schools will seek to attack pay, introduce more ‘teaching-on-the-cheap’ and further worsen workload. Unions need to organise to defend – and improve – national pay and conditions by taking national action to win a clear National Contract limiting working hours and class sizes, a contract that should apply to all teachers.

Whoever wins the next General Election, teachers and education face some of the severest challenges we have faced for decades. That’s why it is vital that the NUT National Officer elections are won by candidates prepared to offer strong leadership that can galvanise members to take the national action necessary to meet the challenges that we face.

1 comment:

Clive said...

Whoever wins the next election education and all other public services will see massive cuts, with thousands of job losses.

In the further education sector we are already seeing cuts and the effects of the 'credit crunch'. Massive cutbacks are taking place in Higher Education - Universities just at a time when more and more young people are applying for courses.

In my own sixth form college redundancies have been announced this year in subjects where student numbers are low, teachers have formed the correct conclusions from this - namely that this amounts to casualisation of their jobs. They are now in effect on one year rolling contracts and will have to wait and see enrollment numbers each September to see whether they have another year's work!

NUT members are angry but will need a fighting union leadership to co-ordinate the fightback across all sectors of education.