What’s next?

Not content with the ongoing destruction of the National Health Service and the social welfare system, Cameron and his cronies now seem to be moving their baleful attentions to our schools.  Note this well; OUR schools, not theirs.

The claim today, via OFSTED – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-22873257 – is that GCSE results in non-selective state schools (based on attainment in key stage 2 tests) are not as good as those in schools that do select pupils on ability.  There are two responses to this: 1) well, DUH!  2) why are you taking us for complete idiots?

Even a cursory reading of the ‘evidence’ in the article will suggest a highly selective and actively misleading presentation of some rather sketchy information.  This in itself concerns me greatly.  Is the government intending to return to the bad old days of a two-tier education system, where a child’s future was decided by academic performance on a single day at the age of 11?  If so, they’ll need to make a better argument than this.  And it will still be a stupid, unfair, divisive and wasteful proposal.

There’s more.  A few days ago, the gnomic Education Secretary attacked the presence in our classrooms of teaching assistants – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2334853/Army-teaching-assistants-faces-axe-Education-department-attempts-save-4billion-cost-year.html – claiming that “research” showed they had a negative effect on results.

Rubbish, Gove.  My experience as a teacher, parent, union official and school governor says otherwise.  Teaching assistants are far more than a mere “Mum’s Army”, wiping noses and reading stories; they are vital colleagues in the nurturing, care and education of our children.  They are highly qualified professionals, or working toward becoming so.  They deserve appropriate recognition and due respect.

Gove seems determined to take us back to 1954.  The rest of us look to a future where all our children, whatever their needs or abilities or background, enjoy equal chances in life.

Finally, try this for an example of where the Tories’ failed concept of ‘the big society’ is taking us – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-22855011…

“Debt” owed – £1.75

Salary of “academy business manager” – around £40k

Cost of a 10 year old boy’s public humiliation?  Incalculable. 

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2 Responses to What’s next?

  1. katemck says:

    Excellent words from the Chairman. I’m drafting an emergency resolution to our LP on the impact of returning to O level style exams. Blatant attack on girls and those with special needs and EAL (all of whom do better in a modular system) and the attack on teaching assistants is, of course, another attack on low paid women. Get sooo bloody angry.

    • Thanks, DrKate. I’d be really interested to see the draft resolution, as I’d like to get something similar debated at local & regional level (and at UNISON Labour Link) here in the West Mids.

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