ATL leader launches broadside on government’s education policies

Tim Lezard

GoveATL general secretary Mary Bousted will today launch a strong attack on the government’s education policies.

Her main target is education secretary Michael Gove who, she says, has shamefully neglected children and young people. She accuses him of having poor judgement, lack of regard for evidence and blind devotion to political dogma.

She will say:  “There is just too much going wrong in the state of the Department for Education for it to be ignored.  The lack of proper regard for evidence is undermining and harming our pupils’ education.

“Teachers are used to putting up with the latest nonsense on the only, sure fire, certain way to teach children.  But now every aspect of the curriculum and the qualifications are under attack.

“Teacher morale is at rock bottom.  Teachers have had more than enough.  They are leaving the profession in droves, which will seriously affect standards of education.  And now pupils are suffering too.

“Rushing to ban January A-level re-sits has created insurmountable problems for students studying for these qualifications.  Thousands of young people are being denied the chance to study a broad and balanced curriculum.  Thousands are being denied the opportunity to follow their interests in the arts and design.

“The subjects in the secondary curriculum should not be treated like the hokey cokey – arts, drama, music, computer science – in, then out.  Young people, their parents, and their teachers deserve better than this.

“We all deserve a much better Secretary of State: one not driven by dogma and evidence blind.”

She will also attack the government’s forced academisation programme, saying it is a step on the way to mass privatisation.

“Michael Gove’s gang of arm-twisters are travelling the country using threats and blandishments to get primary schools to convert.  And head teachers are being told quietly, without any witnesses present, that they will be sacked if they resist. If Michael Gove was honest, at least he would auction them.  Mrs Thatcher sold off the family silver; at least she didn’t give it away.

“Where is the democracy in forcing academies on parents and local communities when the policy has never been approved by Parliament.  This is the behaviour of an elective dictatorship.  Michael Gove is bringing government into disrepute by instigating policies that have no democratic mandate, and by ignoring all expert opinion.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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