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The National Union of Teachers (NUT) union is calling for a one-day strike during the summer term over the Government’s plan to turn every school in to an academy by 2020.
The union has voted for a strike ballot as they argue that there is no evidence to show that academies do not improve education standards, and that this move could potentially make schools worse.
The Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has already told teachers at the NASUWT conference (where she was heckled and walked off in silence) that there will be no u-turn over the academy plans.
The NUT’s treasurer Ian Murch has expressed fears that these plans are a step towards privatising education and that schools are a “public service and not a business opportunity”.
Others have also voiced their concerns at the Conservatives’ plans, with Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron saying the Tories’ plans to academise all schools are “worse than misguided – it is downright harmful. It will be a costly and disruptive process for thousands of schools”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the NUT conference that the Tories were ‘asset stripping’ the state education system.
However, a Department for Education spokeswoman was scathing of the Union’s proposed ballot and defensive of the government’s proposals, stating: “It’s disappointing that the NUT would rather play politics with our children’s future than work constructively with us to deliver our vision for educational excellence everywhere.
“We make no apology for our reforms, which have resulted in a record number of children now being taught in good or outstanding schools – 1.4 million more than in 2010.
“And as set out in our White Paper we are determined to continue with our vision to ensure every single child has the best possible education, as well as raising the status of the profession. It would be refreshing to see the NUT doing likewise.”
After being elected into government with a majority just last May, the Conservatives have already faced strikes from angry Junior Doctors, with significant public approval of the action. Now, it seems that the Tories’ pseudo-privatisation of the UK’s education system is a step too far for teachers.