NASUWT: The coalition is adopting a ‘scorched earth’ education policy

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, addressed the TUC Congress in London today. Moving a motion condemning the Government's ‘clandestine policy of school privatisation’, Ms Keates said the day the Coalition came to power marked a turning point for state education.

She said:

“State Education, which has secured opportunities for the many not just the privileged few, now stands on the brink of annihilation by this Government.”

“It is squandering the legacy of year on year improvement it inherited in 2010 and has adopted a scorched earth policy.

“Education Secretary Michael Gove's ideological academisation project is being driven forward through bribery and bullying, without any evidence that standards will be raised and by riding roughshod over the views of staff, parents and local communities.

“This academisation, passing to private providers the ownership of a school, taking the assets from the local community, severing local democratic accountability and incurring risks to the public purse is nothing to do with raising standards and tackling disadvantage.

“Academies and Free Schools are about lining the pockets of business.

“The Education Secretary is arrogantly taking to himself, without a mandate from the people of this country, the freedom to give away 150 years of state school history to his few friends, to enable them to turn a profit at the expense of our children and young people.

“State education, like other public services, must be about equality and social justice and be distinguished by universal access, by delivery according to need, by services free at the point of use, be democratically accountable and be for the public good rather than for profit.

“We must oppose the Education Bill with the same vigour as we oppose the NHS Bill.

“We must win this war against those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”


Stuart Gannon
NASUWT Press Office

Tel: 020 7420 9681
Mobile (and out of hours contact): 07966 198894
Address: 5 King Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8SD