Thursday 24 April 2014

Parents defend teachers defending education

As I walked into NUT Conference on Saturday lunchtime with my thoughts on the speech I was about to give in the key debate on the 'Standing Up for Education' Priority Motion, BBC Newsnight 'Policy Editor' Chris Cook decided he wanted to speak to me first.

Chris did his best to try to see if he could get a juicy quote for the 'hatchet-job' he was planning on the NUT, but seemed a little disappointed that I had an answer for every one of his 'final, final questions'. (Chris, you see I've done many a press interview in my time - but I'm happy to do many more!). 

I'm also happy to stand by the points that Chris chose to broadcast in his feature on Tuesday. Firstly, to defeat the attacks on teachers and education, "you can't just have occasional one-day protest strikes, you need to step up to a calendar of action". 

Secondly, I am also confident that there would be public backing for such action. As I explained on Newsnight, "everybody [who] knows that their pay is being cut, that their jobs are under threat [will] respect those who are actually going to stand up for themselves".

Should Chris Cook be interested in real evidence, instead of sensationalist journalism,  he could do worse than looking at the quotes in Newcastle's Evening Chronicle (my thanks to @NUTnorthern, Mike McDonald, for posting this picture):

TOP COMMENT: "Good for those teachers, now all public service workers should do the same"

.. and others include ...

"Have my full support. They are perfectly entitled to strike if they feel their conditions of work affect the way they perform the job they are contracted to do"

"They're striking because the government is trying to destroy the education system in this country"

"Why should people accept being treated like worthless peasants"

Clearly some hard-left plot has taken over the North-East ....

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