Teachers are desperate and angry

AS an NUT member I was extremely proud to be stood alongside thousands of striking colleagues in Sheffield.

The fantastic response to the call to action by the NUT/NASUWT reflects the desperation and anger of the teaching profession. Alongside all public sector workers we are bearing the brunt of the nation’s debt caused by bankers and city stockbrokers. Our pay has been frozen, our pensions hugely diminished and our working conditions attacked.

However there are wider issues which cause deep concern amongst the teaching profession. The curriculum is driven by the ridiculous testing regime which bears no resemblance to any known model of child development. Schools and pupils are judged purely on the results of the very narrow and prescriptive criteria. Children are deemed to be failing at a very young age and the opportunities to nurture the wide and varies talents that young people have are greatly reduced.

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Michael Gove wants to further increase the threshold by which schools are deemed to be failing and through this mechanism he imposes the academy/free school programme. There is no evidence to show that academies improve results in any shape or form but what they do is leach money from the local authorities greatly diminishing their power to provide essential services. Michael Gove has already stated that there is no need for pupils to be taught by a qualified teacher and he cannot see a reason why schools cannot be run to make a profit. This is his and the Tories’ agenda.

They attack our working conditions to make education a more attractive proposition for huge multinational companies looking for a quick buck. As I write this it is in the news that David Cameron is saying that ‘Profit is not a dirty word’. For him and his millionaire buddies in the cabinet probably not but it certainly is for our children and young people who will pay through an education system that is delivered as cheaply as possible through larges classes, inadequate resources and an unqualified and demoralised workforce.

We are taking further action in the autumn and hope fully with other public sector workers who are fighting equally to defend those essential services in society which enable ordinary people to have the semblance of a decent life.

Jill Adams, Breaburn Close, Maltby