Today I'm joining parents and teachers across the country, alongside the ATL and NUT, to rally against unnecessary and unwanted changes to our schools system announced last week. The Tory Government's plans to force all schools to become academies is a top-down, costly reorganisation of our schools, which nobody wants and schools don't need. The anger from parents and teachers against these plans has been swift and palpable.
Schools and parents are facing a chronic teacher shortage, a lack of school places, chaos around curriculum changes and primary tests and a funding crisis. But instead of dealing with these very real issues the Government is pursuing a top down re-organisation of education that has no basis in evidence to support it.
The Chancellor's proposals will not address the many pressing problems in education such as the teacher shortage crisis, the lack of school places and the desperate lack of funding. Nor will they address teachers' concerns about a muddled and inappropriate curriculum. They are entirely the wrong priorities.
Any reasonable person would conclude that these proposals are an unjustifiable assault on trade unions and their members and will seriously undermine good industrial relations. They illustrate perfectly well what this Government really thinks of workers and make a mockery of David Cameron's claim to be on the side of working people.
It is not just teachers who are bearing the brunt of a system led by league tables and Ofsted results. The same pressures are felt by pupils. We now have a generation of young people who are anxious, stressed and disaffected... We are testing children within an inch of their lives and the vibrancy and love of learning that should be at the centre of the curriculum is all but lost.
The five things you need to know on Thursday 10 July 2014... 1) TO STRIKE OR NOT TO STRIKE? Isn't it odd that the Tories say they support the ri...
Imagine, if you need to, being on below average wages and finding out that because some wealthy bankers crashed the economy you wouldn't be getting a pay rise any time soon. As I say, only imagine this if you need to. There is a very good chance you know exactly how it feels. If you work in the public sector, it has happened to you...
Who is in the right here? Hard to say. As a nation we should support the plight of teachers who supply arguably one of the most important services in the county, the people we charge with enriching the intellect of our young people. But national strikes are becoming annual events. This will be the third strike since 2011.
Teachers work some of the longest hours of any profession with many working 50-60 hours a week. Our work is essential, our pay is not high, our pensions not gold-plated and we cannot be expected to work more hours than we already do. There comes a point when it is impossible to ignore what is happening.
Time is of the essence in a sport that is measured in the one thousandth of a second and to change all four wheels in under two seconds is a terrific feat by anyone's measure. Teams practice pitstops regularly and in Austin you could catch some of those practice sessions during the pit walk on Thursday.
Teachers are committed and dedicated public service workers. They do not take strike action lightly. No teacher has any wish to inconvenience parents or disrupt pupils' education, but this action is not the failure or due to the unreasonableness of teachers. It is the failure and unreasonableness of the secretary of state...
Given the support for the No More Page 3 campaign from the Girl Guides, the National Youth Council, the National Association of Head Teachers and now the NUT, perhaps it is time for the Prime Minister of this country to concede that the issue of Page 3 goes beyond 'consumer choice', and finally add his voice to the mounting pressure on David Dinsmore, Editor of the Sun, to scrap the feature.
Normally when a representative from a business receives a letter asking them to come and give evidence in Parliament, I imagine their blood pressure rises a little, and beads of sweat form as they recall the grilling given to prominent businessmen and women by parliamentarians such as the chairs of the Public Accounts Committee and the Treasury Select Committee. This week will feature a session which is, I hope, a little different, and will be examining the work that is taking place in businesses across Britain in partnership with their employees to support charities through workplace giving.
There is a quieter, yet just as dangerous trend undermining feminist values, and this trend is being perpetrated most, by women. The arena: online forums, Facebook groups, press articles, NCT circles, even groups of friends. The reason: Mother Judgement - the war between those who do and those who don't.