Children who took GCSE’s last summer have been extraordinarily badly treated.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers
Rather than supporting children’s aspirations, the coalition government is “stifling the entitlement of many working class children and young people”, the general secretary of the NASUWT has said.
Speaking at a fringe meeting at the Lib Dem conference, Chris Keates said teachers look to the Lib Dems to make a difference and “curtail Tory education policies”, so that they do not become part of the state education system.
The fringe meeting was held jointly between the two largest teaching unions, the NASUWT and the NUT, who represent nine out of ten teachers.
Keates called the joint declaration, which has seen the two unions campaign together against the policies of the coalition government, “historic”.
Also on the panel, Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers said the joint declaration was a “good thing for both teachers and pupils”.
On industrial action, Keates said it was not something the teaching profession and unions wanted but that the government “is not prepared to listen and engage” with them.
The decision of the coalition to allow pupils to be taught by those that do not have qualified teacher status was questioned by Blower.
Lord Storey, a Lib Dem peer who remains a teacher until Christmas, and has taught in five schools in deprived communities said the most important thing in teaching, is the “quality of the teacher”.
“We have to have highly trained, highly respected, well paid teachers.
“Teachers should be expected to be rewarded considerably for what they do, but they should also expect to be regularly inspected.
“I am opposed of pupils being taught by people who are not trained as teachers,” he said.
He noted surprise at how easily the provision within the Education Bill, that allows for non-teachers to teach pupils in state education passed through the House of Lords.
“When the Education Bill was passed I was surprised how quiet my colleagues both Labour and Liberal Democrat were when the non-teachers part of the bill went through,” he said.
Referring to this summer’s GCSE results fiasco, Blower said:
“Children who took GCSE’s last summer have been extraordinarily badly treated.”