This Council notes the eight-fold attack on education and teachers currently underway by the Coalition Government under Michael Gove which is intended to devastate the profession, destroy trade union rights, reduce pay and time off, increase stress levels, return the curriculum to the 1950’s, turn schools into crèches and completely remove democratic accountability.
This Council further notes that any attempt to oppose these imposed changes is met with savage attack by elements around Gove and are dismissed by Gove himself, be they from teachers, parents, schools or respected academic bodies such as The Historical Association.
This Council recognises that in a mere two and a half years Gove has attacked teachers pensions, pay, time off, the curriculum, the school day, forced schools to become academies even when they did not want to do so, re-introduced excessive and unhealthy workloads and is now moving onto removing the right to strike and returning examinations to mere tests of memory, a position criticised as inadequate for the modern jobs market in the late 1950’s.
This Council believes that the extent and pace of these attacks can only mean that Gove wants a battle with the teaching profession and its unions to continue where the Thatcher government left off. This is a desperately unhealthy attitude from a Secretary of State and can only result in severe disruption for everyone with no improvement at the end, quite the reverse.
This Council further believes that the historic agreement to stand together to resist these attacks taken by the the NUT and the NASUWT is more than just a ‘pay campaign’. It is a campaign for the future of our schools, for teaching unions and for professional teachers and this council believes that the direction Gove is forcing education and schools in this country is fundamentally wrong and damaging.
Council resolves to ask the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove MP, expressing the view of Council and calling for an end to his damaging and divisive campaign against teachers.