EDUCATION Secretary Gove is ‘irrepairably damaging children’s education’ says Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).
Speaking at the ATL’s annual conference in Liverpool today, Bousted will say that schools are being forced to convert into academies on a huge scale.
‘Michael Gove’s gang of arm-twisters are travelling the country using threats and blandishments to get primary schools to convert. And head teachers are being told quietly, without any witnesses present, that they will be sacked if they resist.’
Dr Bousted will add that Gove is paving the way for the wholesale transfer of schools to the private sector if the Tories win the next election.
But for privatisation to be successful schools need to be bundled into groups which are large enough to be attractive to private sponsors who want to make money from them. So now forced academies are being offered to expansionist school chains.
She will ask: ‘Where is the democracy in forcing academies on parents and local communities when the policy has never been approved by Parliament. This is the behaviour of an elective dictatorship.’
She slammed ‘what Gove is doing to education, especially his talk about wanting the most disadvantaged children to succeed which is totally undermined by his poor judgement, lack of regard for evidence and blind devotion to political dogma.
She will say: ‘There is just too much going wrong in the state of the Department for Education for it to be ignored. The lack of proper regard for evidence is undermining and harming our pupils’ education.
‘Teachers are used to putting up with the latest nonsense on the only, sure fire, certain way to teach children. But now every aspect of the curriculum and the qualifications are under attack.
‘Teacher morale is at rock bottom. Teachers have had more than enough. They are leaving the profession in droves, which will seriously affect standards of education. And now pupils are suffering too.’
Bousted will warn that Gove has shamefully neglected the children and young people in schools and colleges now, showing little care for the qualifications they work hard to attain and their future life chances.
‘Thousands of young people are being denied the chance to study a broad and balanced curriculum. Thousands are being denied the opportunity to follow their interests in the arts and design.’