NUT and NASUWT reject pension offer. Gove talks shite about academies. Sutton council wants to ditch class size limit.
So yesterday, NUT and NASUWT, the two largest teaching unions with a combined membership of about half a million, rejected the governments latest pension offer. They join PCS and Unite in doing so. ATL, a smaller teaching union and NAHT, headteacher union had accepted the offer before Christmas.
While this keeps open the possibility of further one-day strikes as the existing pension strike ballots allow, it goes without saying that we shouldn't be relying on these unions to fight for our pensions. The divide and rule amongst the unions has been partially effective, given some have caved. I'm personally sick of waiting for the go-ahead from unions, this pissing around is just drawing it all out, waiting for them to sell us out. I've not heard much rank and file chatter amongst teachers and other education workers outside of our own little circles, but fuck knows we need it!
Gove talks shite about academies
No surprise here, given this man is intent on destroying national agreements in schools and consistently sticking the boot in to education workers, despite having never been a teacher himself.
This week saw Gove talk the single biggest pile of shite he has done in his time in office:
""The same ideologues who are happy with failure - the enemies of promise - also say you can't get the same results in the inner cities as the leafy suburbs so it's wrong to stigmatise these schools...Let's be clear what these people mean. Let's hold their prejudices up to the light. What are they saying?
If you're poor, if you're Turkish, if you're Somali, then we don't expect you to succeed. You will always be second class and it's no surprise your schools are second class.
This is a disgusting comment. He has never taught turkish kids, I have. He has never taught somali kids, I have. He's probably never MET a 'poor kid' He can get to fuck. I can tell you in my last academy, the bottom sets, were filled almost exclusively with turkish and african-parent kids. The tops sets were mostly white middle class. My academy was failing these pupils, and it was disgusting. I plan to write a longer post about the total lack of evidence that setting benefits pupils (except for the top set, surprise surprise).
Here's why I despise academies:
- they are and always have been, a way of chipping away at public eduction and handing it to private firms to make a profit, when profit's involved, it always comes first, not people, not kids, not eduction
- it's an attempt to finally destroy unions, collective bargaining, and any form of nationally organised resistance in schools
- as bad as the ethos is in many state schools, sponsors are taking the piss in academies - indoctrinating kids with business jargon while training them for the workplace fodder conveyor belt, all the while getting some PR for whatever firm has been gracious enough to attach their name to a school
- they want to wreck national pay agreements. Academies are free to set their own pay and conditions, for all workers
- communities are being sold the notion of academies without information and a non-existent consultation. Where they have opposed it, the government now wants to FORCE it through. Yay democracy!
- last but not least, academies have no demonstrable positive effect on just about any measure, not even 'academic attainment', if that's your bag.
The academy fight is being stepped up. Gove is really calling us out and pissing all over education workers. I hope we don't let this clueless man bully us.
Massive classes save money
Really? Whoulda thought?
Why don't we just never clean schools? That would save money.
Why don't we just serve gruel instead of actual food in the canteens? That would save money.
Why not just have everything REALLY FUCKING SHIT? That would save money.
A genius in Sutton council, their chief executive Niall Bolger, "said his council had spent £7m on accommodating the extra pupils its schools would admit in September." He ereckons he could have saved that money by just dumping a few more kids in each class in infant school - from 30 to 32.
This all despite the fact that class size clearly matters, and even more so in the early years of education. All the while private schools have much smaller classes, and, gasp, better results.
I interpret his remark to mean 'we don't give a shit about working class kids' eduction, let's dump them in massive classes as they're not really worth giving a shit about. PS I send my own kids to private school'.
Sure why not just do away with education altogether and bring back the workhouse while we're at it? There's no fucking jobs anyway so why bother starting a proper education?