Academies plan not about standards says union leader.

‘Nicky Morgan’s plans to force all schools in England to become academies is an attempt to turn education into a business and destroy the public service ethos of teachers, according to the head of one of Britain’s teaching unions.

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said the changes set out in the government’s education white paper, which would lead to 17,000 maintained schools being taken over by multi-academy trusts, contained a “big whopper – that the forced academisation of all schools will improve educational standards”.

“What is forced academisation of all schools really about? We know it’s not about education standards – it’s about running schools as businesses and it’s about breaking the public service ethos of teachers and school leaders,” Bousted told delegates at the ATL’s annual conference.

“Forced academisation is about taking parents out of the picture – no requirement for parent governors.

“And it appears parents share my concerns. Just go on to Mumsnet and see what parents think about forced academisation of their children’s schools – they’re not happy, not happy at all.”’ - Guardian

‘Bousted addressed a spirited audience, which yesterday heckled schools minister Nick Gibb and cheered shadow education secretary Lucy Powell, when she railed against government reforms and pledged to step back from the curriculum if Labour wins in 2020.

The union boss said the “nonsense” of baseline testing for 4-year-olds and the “farce” of key stage 2 writing assessments had made the jobs of many primary teachers “impossible”. But assessments aren’t the only thing heaping pressure on teachers, said Bousted.

“The new national curriculum is insane,” she said. “It is designed by people who know nothing of how to promote enjoyment of, and development in, writing abilities. This is a curriculum which requires the naming of parts.”

The new spelling and grammar tests for 11-year-olds are so hard, according to Bousted, that when put to a group of masters and PhD graduates recently, almost half did not pass.’ – Schools Week

The government's plans have drawn criticism from teachers, unions and Tory local councillors.

At its conference over Easter, the National Union of Teachers voted to ballot for strike action over the academies plan.

The NASUWT conference also voted to consider strike action if forced academisation affects members' pay and conditions.

The Labour Party has said its own analysis of official figures suggests the plan could cost £1.3bn with a shortfall in funding of over £1.1bn - though ministers reject these figures. - BBC


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