NUT: Nick Clegg’s Speech at Liberal Democrats Conference

Commenting on Nick Clegg’s announcement of summer ‘catch-up’ schools in his speech to the Liberal Democrats Conference, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said this:

“In the National Union of Teachers we want every child to have the best possible opportunities and that means investing in education across the board.

“Tackling the root causes of the riots will not be solved by a two week summer school for primary children. What is needed are policies which address the growing inequalities in our society.

“Tackling child poverty, reducing unemployment and ensuring that every child has access to a good education is vital. This is exactly the opposite of what will be achieved by many of the Government's education policies.

“The Academies programme has been shown to exacerbate social division through their admissions and exclusions policy. Free Schools are likely to do the same as they have shown to do so in Sweden. Unaffordable tuition fees and the reduction of EMA mean that for many young people there is no future for them in further and higher education.

“The Government needs to be aware that resolving issues of disadvantage cannot be achieved without structured and well planned support throughout a pupil's schooling. What will make the difference to pupils who need additional help is ongoing support for literacy and numeracy such as one to one tuition and reading recovery programmes, both of which the Government recently announced would be axed.

“What is very clear is that without there being any hope of employment or access to further and higher education, underfunded schools and youth services, this Government is leaving a generation of young people with a very bleak future.”

END pr127-2011
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