THE BLOG
03/06/2015 10:15 BST | Updated 03/06/2016 06:59 BST

New Education Legislation Shows Nothing But Contempt for Teachers, Pupils and Parents

It's as if Nicky Morgan feels that she has not yet made her mark as Education Secretary - has not, as her predecessor did, yet succeeded in alienating the entirety of the teaching profession - and is determined to put this right.

The Education and Adoption Bill published today, and the messaging accompanying it, shows an escalation of the contempt shown for educators by the Conservative party throughout the last parliament. The Bill, if passed, will turn all 'failing' schools into academies - and make it nigh on impossible for parents, teachers and pupils to resist the change by scrapping the requirement for academy sponsors to consult with school communities.

Morgan proudly declared that this will "sweep away" the means by which communities prevent academisation - and in doing so clearly revealed the extent of the government's determination to plough ahead with its ideologically-driven education policy in spite of a wall of opposition from the teaching profession. It illustrates the staggering arrogance of this government that when those who spend every day teaching, and witness first-hand the effects of education policy, voice opposition to academisation, the response is to silence them, not listen to them.

And there's a reason why teachers so widely oppose the measures churned out by the government. Academisation allows private companies unprecedented influence on childrens' education; it takes control of education away from the local authority, and removes school's accountability to communities. And the government's approach to low standards - to give up on the comprehensive education system and pass control onto private companies - shows a worrying lack of commitment to investing in our national comprehensive and community schools.

Turning a school into an academy does nothing to address the reasons why schools fail, and this government's obsession with targets, averages and grades is damaging our education system and inflicting untold pressure onto children. If we want to improve the learning experience of our children, inviting in private companies like BAE systems is not the answer.

Instead, we must address the growing demoralisation of teachers, brought on by unmanageable workloads, an unhealthy culture of constant assessment, and the Education Secretary's antagonistic approach to the profession. We must stop schools from becoming exam factories, ending the pressure on pupils to achieve top grades, and instead place an emphasis on creating a well-rounded education system which allows pupils to gain a broad range of skills, experience and knowledge.

The Green Party would end the outsourcing of education, and bring academies into the local authority system. We would scrap Ofsted, and instead allow schools to be evaluated by parents, teachers and the local community. We would invest properly in schools - ensuring that they are able to afford the resources and staff they need to provide a world-class education to their pupils.

And finally, we would listen to those who know best when it comes to teaching: teachers.