The very existence of education and what it means for our children and teachers was addressed at a very well attended rally in Birmingham, filling three halls in the ICC. It was organised by the NAS/UWT and NUT alliance. Kevin Courtney (NUT) and Chris Keates (NAS/UWT), together with speakers drawn from headteachers, governors, parents and students spoke with power and emotion on the destruction of education.
They referred to the enforced limitation of expectations for school students through a 19th century utilitarian curriculum. This is compounded by worsening pay, pensions and conditions for teachers, 50% of whom want to leave within their first 5 years in schools. Government changes mean that anyone can now ‘teach’ without training or qualifications. On top of these factors, the introduction of academies and free schools is leading to education being opened up to private companies which make profits out of children and destroy both national pay scales for teachers and local authority infrastructure.
Never has there been more need for unity between teachers’ unions, parents and governors. All the speeches were well received by the audience. Mr Gove and his regime stand in our way. It’s them or us. As Courtney said, it is ‘the fight of our lives’, and this country’s future that is at stake.
Click here for our Party’s Vision For Education.
Also, the Campaign For State Education has just produced A Better Future for Our Schools which lays out a series of points about how State Education should be organised.