April 15, 2004


Charles Clarke, the Education Secretary, refused to speak at the annual conference of the largest teachers union. He actually told the House of Commons that he had “better things to do”. He snubbed the National Union of Teachers (NUT) because it refused to sign a national agreement on school workforce reform. The Government is trying to get teachers to agree with allowing unqualified classroom assistants to teach classes and the NUT refused to be bullied.

Clarke did go to the conference of the NASUWT, the second largest union, and used the opportunity to badmouth the NUT. He said “The idea that we would go down the path of reducing the number of teachers and increasing the number of teaching assistants is completely wrong. The suggestion is completely malicious and designed simply to mislead.”

Yet as I noted in February, this is entirely true. It is Mr Clarke who has been designed simply to mislead. He is a member of a Government which has spent the last seven years simply misleading.

Charlie Clarke is reason they can't find enough teachers. The combination of disingenuity and bureaucracy is more than most can take. If the Government would stop lying and stop the deforestation required for teachers to produce all of the paperwork, things might get better.

A secondary school teacher teaches about 20 hours a week. They work an average of 52 hours per week. Can you guess how almost 62% of their time is spent?

Posted by david at April 15, 2004 11:52 PM | TrackBack