Michael Gove conservative party conference 2013

"Twisted militant" teacher strikes are about ideology not students

By: Eva Quigley - Reporter
Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 20:55 GMT Jump to Comments

The Education Secretary Michael Gove has accused the teacher trade unions of "twisted militant logic" in their decision to strike against performance related pay.

The strikes, which saw thousands of school closures in 48 authorities in the east of England, the Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside, were against pay, pensions and workloads. 

Gove said at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester that the trade unions were putting their ideology above British children's interests, preventing good teachers being paid the money they deserve and standing in the way of progress.

"There is one group of people who I can't thank. They're the people who are standing in the way of progress. They're the people who are the enemies of promise", he said.

"While we gather here today [...] the leaders of the militant teaching unions have gone out on strike.

"And the reason that they have gone out on strike in a new example of a twisted militant logic, is that they want to stop good teachers being paid more money. They are striking against the growth and potential of poor children".

"Children lose a day of education, parents have to scrabble to pay more for expensive child care and the prestige of the teaching profession, which we all want to see re-enforced and built up, takes a knock".

Speaking to Tory delegates, he said the Conservative Party was the party of "social justice in Great Britain" with an education policy that is "modern, progressive, radical and mainstream".

"Our exams can stand in comparison with the most rigorous in the world", he said, "and youth unemployment is at last being tackled head on".

Christine Blower, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, who have taken part in the strikes, said: "We are of course sorry for the disruption it causes to both parents and pupils. However, many parents are very supportive of NUT positions".

She added: “Michael Gove’s words of praise for the teaching profession will ring very hollow indeed amongst teachers. This Education Secretary has angered and demoralised the whole profession. He really does need to listen to our concerns and many parents agree".

Comments

Latest

Chancellor George Osborne is due to announce devolution of health and social care to the 10 Greater Manchester…

Eric Pickles, the Communities and local Government Secretary has turned down the proposed ‘Coventry Gateway’…

Plymouth City Council is latest to raise council tax by 1.99% as Hampshire county councillors protest to government…

Time never stands still for the public sector CIO. Continuous waves of new technology and government policies…

Individual students now contribute, on average, £27,000 to their university’s income. Retaining these…

Northamptonshire County Council votes to commission rather than provide services, as Lincolnshire announces £41m…

Local government in the UK can and should be proud of the way it has withstood the challenge of austerity to date.

Considered to be ‘one of the UK’s most precious institutions’, it is no surprise that the NHS…

David Kemp, sustainability manager at Procure Plus, discusses the issue of delivering effective retrofit and how…

We are now a digital nation. It’s been over 25 years since the launch of the World Wide Web and since then…

Devon plans major improvements to A30/A303 through the Blackdown Hills, while Thurrock bills the Highways Agency…

Panelists agreed on the huge potential of ‘attribute exchange’ to facilitate ‘channel shift’…