Monday 2 February 2015

Neither Hunt nor Cameron will stand up for education. We will!

An opposition spokesperson who really cared and understood about education would have been in the news today condemining the Prime Minister's speech announcing yet another expansion of academies. Instead, Tristram Hunt was in the news for insulting a Sedgehill parent, Tom Mann:

The Socialist Party issued this press release this afternoon, giving my response to both Hunt and Cameron: 

Within months of election Labour’s Tristram Hunt insults teachers and parents

Tristram Hunt confirmed Labour’s contempt for teachers with his tweets to a concerned South London parent. On the day Cameron is to announce greater moves to academies which threaten teachers’ working rights, Hunt insults teachers and concerned parents.

Hunt, Labour's shadow education secretary, tweeted to a parent and a teachers’ group to “stop moaning” and “do some work” in response to a query about the details of Labour’s education policy.

Martin Powell-Davies, National Executive of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The Tories’ latest announcements show that they are determined to take the whole of education out of democratic local control by turning even more schools into academies. Clearly Labour has ruled out repealing any of the Tories’ major school reforms if they form the next government. In Lewisham, however, teachers and parents are determined to stop these attacks.”

Martin is a teacher and active campaigner in Lewisham, South London. He is also one of two members of his union’s executive standing as parliamentary candidates for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) - which is more than for any other party. Martin is challenging in the Lewisham West and Penge constituency.

Martin explains why as a teacher trade unionist he is standing as a candidate in the general election. “Teachers’ strike action has already seen off one pro-academisation education minister. Both Nicky Morgan and Labour’s Tristram Hunt should take note. Building on this includes standing to give a voice to the millions who oppose academies.”

Martin explains the fight against academies in Lewisham: “Campaign meetings have heard from students, parents and staff who know from their own experiences that academies are no solution to educational issues. In fact, they make things worse. Staff pay and conditions are threatened. Parents complain about how their children have been treated in schools that are like ‘exam factories’.

“Lewisham NUT has now balloted its members in five schools for strike action against the threat that their employer might change to an Academy Trust. A first day’s strike is due to be called on Thursday 12 February. News has just come through that one of the schools, Bonus Pastor, has announced that it isn’t going ahead with its academy plans! So that’s one down, four to go!”

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