Stand up for Education: stop Gove attacking teachers and schools
Next Saturday (8 March) Islington teachers will be leafleting and petitioning local shoppers from 11.30 am outside Sainsbury’s at the Angel in support of our campaign to stop the constant attacks being made by Education Secretary Michael Gove on schools and the teachers and support staff who work in them. We plan to distribute gas-filled balloons with the Stand Up for Education logo on them to passing children (with parents’ permission, of course.) This usually provides a good photo opportunity.
Ken Muller, Assistant Secretary of Islington branch of the National Union of Teachers, said:
We want Islington residents – and especially parents – to know why we feel that we have no choice but to join national strike action called by the NUT on 26 March to defend our right to a tolerable workload, to retire at a reasonable age and to receive a salary which keeps up with the cost of living.
The Coalition Government’s policies threaten the standard of education in all our schools and colleges. We are asking parents to help us to persuade Michael Gove to change course.
Local parent governor, Andrew Berry, commented:
I fully support the NUT Stand Up for Education campaign. The constant attacks by Gove and the government on teachers and other school staff in education is damaging not just to them but also to schools themselves and to children’s and young people’s education.
Teachers in Islington and across the country want Michael Gove to:
· Ensure every classroom has a qualified teacher
Academies and free schools are now allowed to employ unqualified teachers. This is a big threat to standards of education.
· Allow councils to open new schools where they are needed
There is a huge pupil place shortage but councils are not allowed to open new schools. Many councils are driven to putting portacabins on school playgrounds to cope. The Government only allows new “free” schools and these are often in the wrong place.
· Make sure changes to the curriculum and exams are positive and planned
Rushed changes are stressful for children as well as their teachers. The Government should start listening to what teachers and education experts say. It should work with them to develop an exciting and inspiring curriculum that equips children for the modern world.
· Ensure there are enough new teachers – stop picking fights with the ones we’ve got
Michael Gove keeps criticising teachers. Morale is plummeting. Five years after qualifying, 2 in every 5 teachers are no longer teaching. On top of that the current system of training teachers is under-recruiting. Instead of dealing with this, Michael Gove keeps attacking our teachers, who are forced to strike to defend themselves and education.
· Get our schools working together and fund them properly
The evidence shows that schools working together are best for all children. Financial scandals at free schools show the dangers of privatisation. On top of this fragmentation, school 6th forms and 6th form colleges are facing 20% cuts while £1.7 billion has been allocated to wasteful and unnecessary schools.
We know that the majority of parents share our concerns and we welcome any support they are prepared to give us, including writing to Michael Gove calling on him to enter in to serious talks with the teachers trade unions in order to avoid us having to strike and even joining us next Saturday morning at the Angel.
For further information, call Ken Muller on 079507508
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