News and Support from The NASUWT
The NASUWT’s joint action campaign is supporting teachers to defend the retention of a high quality education service, the Union’s General Secretary has argued at the Conservative Party Conference.
Contrary to the “myths and misinformation” being continually perpetrated by Conservative ministers seeking to claim that the action short of strike action is damaging the education of children, the Union’s action campaign is actually about empowering teachers to focus on the provision of high quality teaching and learning, Chris Keates told the audience at a fringe hosted jointly with the NUT.
“We are taking pupil parent and public friendly action to defend education and protect teaching profession” she said at the meeting examining the state education system.
“Our action is not about stopping voluntary activities, clubs, performances, educational visits or cancelling Christmas” she added, “It’s about enabling teachers to get on with the job of focusing on teaching and learning.”
Teachers are being continually frustrated in their attempts to continue to raise standards by the Government’s regressive and elitist education agenda, she told the audience, highlighting the removal of a string of vital entitlements including children’s right to be taught by a qualified teacher and the entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum.
“We want to engage with the Government but engagement is two ways and engagement means that people have to be prepared to listen and to talk and make decisions on the basis of evidence” she said.
Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the NUT, echoed Ms Keates’ remarks, saying that the union’s joint action was a reflection of the “high stakes, low trust” ethos which has taken over in many schools as a result of the “unintelligent system of accountability” forced on schools.
Katja Hall from the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) spoke of the need to build a consensus on how to take education forward and ensure that the needs of all young people are met. Critical to this is engendering a greater sense of trust and respect for teachers and headteachers, she told delegates.
“We need a system which trusts teachers and headteachers more and tackles morale and demotivation among the profession and among young people. To do this we must recognise that teachers and headteachers have an important role in play in developing education policy. We need to agree a long term strategy which allows us to raise ambition for all, not just for the few.”