Are teachers playing political football with children’s lives?
The title of this post stems from a quote by Nicky Morgan on Tuesday 5th July 2016.
It was the day, teachers took industrial action against pay, pensions and workload as three key reasons for walking out on strike. According to the NUT, pension contribution increases and pay restraint, has meant that teachers have seen a 15% fall in the value of their take home pay. This alongside an 8% cut in funding in real terms for schools over the next few years.
Playing Politics with Children’s Futures!
Nicky Morgan has been quoted, for what might be her most ludicrous comment to date; damming striking teachers, she claimed they were “playing politics with children’s futures”. (The Canary.)
I know, I know. Keep your hands firmly on the table …
Politics or Children?
The most recent example of political football, is when Morgan announced in the DfE’s White Paper – Education Excellence Everywhere (March 2016) to force every school to become an academy. Within hours of its publication, an online petition soared to over 100,000 signatures in a matter of days, asking for “a public inquiry and a referendum over turning all schools into academies”.
The government has responded today:
“We have listened to feedback, and revised our plans; we will not be introducing blanket legislation but will continue to reaffirm our determination to see all schools become academies.” (UK Government and Parliament)
Let me tell you something Mrs. Morgan.
Teachers will still be at the chalk-face, working long into their careers, not for money, but for love of working with students to better their life-chances. We all know too well, that teachers will continue to adapt to fit around government policies, well-after you have moved on from your current post.
The question that remains is: who will be playing politics with children’s futures, if we are still here and you are gone?