‘Don’t put children ‘at the mercy of the market’


THE increasing marketisation of the education system is putting profit before the interests of pupils, teachers and the public, representatives at the Annual Conference of the NASUWT, were told yesterday.

A motion debating the casualisation of the workforce has rejected the agenda of privatisation, which is undermining public confidence in schools and promoting job insecurity.

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said: ‘Schools in the United Kingdom are among the best in the world.

‘The highest-performing countries will not countenance putting their children and young people at the mercy of the market.

‘An essential principle for all education reform must be that it raises educational standards for all.

‘Reforms introduced by the coalition government are now creating a market free-for-all in education, which will be to the detriment of many, and the advantage of the few.

‘All of the independent evidence confirms that marketisation does not deliver better educational outcomes for pupils, but costs more money and creates widespread inequality and social segregation.

‘Children deserve better than being put at the mercy of a market in education, where access to learning is based on the ability to pay.

‘Access to a broad and balanced education should be a right of every child.

‘The NASUWT will continue to defend state education.’

The resolution ‘Casualisation of the Workforce’ moved by Geoff Branner and seconded by John Allison declared: ‘Conference deplores the agenda of privatisation, marketisation and the trade in education.

‘Conference believes the application of private sector models for the organisation and management of schools will inevitably privilege the profit motive and the interests of business over and above the interests of pupils, teachers and the public.’

It concluded: ‘Conference supports continued action by the National Executive to oppose privatisation and the trade in education, which is damaging to educational standards and to the future of the teaching profession.’

The Conference, which is being held in Birmingham, also passed a motion calling for greater support for teachers from under-represented groups from discrimination and victimisation in the workplace.

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said: ‘All the evidence shows that it is women and minority groups in society that are bearing the brunt of the government’s austerity measures, exposing as nonsense claims that “we are all in this together”.

‘This government has declared war on ordinary workers. It is ripping up employment laws and encouraging a culture of macho management.’