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Press Cycle 27 - Teachers’ Strike
#1
Diligent public servants or socialist stooges?
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#2
The teachers’ strike is an unnecessary political action that will cause disruption for parents and prevent children from receiving an education. It is irresponsible and damaging and I am disappointed, but not particularly surprised, that the NUT has seen fit to take such a course.

The truth of this situation is that the NUT does not like parental involvement in schools. It does not want parents to be given a say over how their children are educated. This is an old-fashioned state-knows-best approach that is more appropriate to the 1970s than today.

The comments by General Secretary Doug McAvoy reveals what he thinks of average parents. He believes them to be harridans who have nothing better to do than go around making vexatious claims against schools. Such comments are as inaccurate as they are disgraceful.

The government does not share this arrogant view. It believes parents want the best for their children and it knows that such ambition can be put to good use in allowing parents to partner with teachers and schools to raise standards and ambitions.

While the NUT behaves like a stroppy teenager - flouncing around because of something it objects to - parents, children and schools are left to deal with the consequences of this irresponsible behavior.
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Mrs. Margo Leadbetter
Home Secretary and Secretary of State for DEFRA
Conservative MP for Surbiton
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#3
Mrs. Leadbetter is showing us all exactly what the problem is. They pushed through a bill that they refused to debate. They, taking their lead from their inept and feckless leader, ducked and dodged Opposition questions. They haven’t been listening to teachers, many of whom are also parents. Strike action is never the first action of the disgruntled. But the government isn’t listening to educators and Mrs. Leadbetter u ion bashing rhetoric isn’t going to help either. The government needs to admit that they rushed the bill and get to the negotiating table with the Teachers Union, plain and simple.
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#4
Naturally, Mr. Ward is siding with the unions – the paymasters of the Labour Party. He is more interested in keeping the unions on side than he is in allowing children to be educated. We should not be surprised: Mr. Ward is another advocate of the ‘government-knows-best’ school of thinking.
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Mrs. Margo Leadbetter
Home Secretary and Secretary of State for DEFRA
Conservative MP for Surbiton
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#5
I wish the government had participated in the debate when it was happening. Go back and read the Hansard report of the debate. The government was a no show. I want to see children educated. But the Tories added no standard changes. Parental involvement is good, but they rushed the bill without consulting teachers. That’s on them.
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#6
Mrs Leadbetter is right. This strike shouldn't be necessary. I told them their bill was flawed, their own Lords told them their bill was flawed. They should've listened, and now it's up to the teachers to tell them it's flawed. It's not just a matter of taking two to quango between parents and this government. It takes three for quality. That's parents, teachers and government. I get that the Tories might not want to listen to me and my colleagues. I even get that they occasionally might not be willing to listen to their own peers. But that they're not willing to listen to the consummate professionals doing their best for our children every day shows they're out of touch as well as out of ideas. They should consider listening this time instead of running to the nearest journalist with a tough quote.
Emily Greenwood MP | Labour MP for Workington (1992-present)
Shadow SoS for Education and Employment, Health and Social Security (1994-present)
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#7
I said it before - it might take two to quango but it takes three for quality. Let me tell you what that means. What teachers are objecting to is the suggestion that they are the problem here, that all that's needed for better education is to let some microquango tell on them. Our schools should not be a stand-off between parents and teachers, but a coproduction. That's why Labour will shortly outline policies to slim down the national curriculum and give more power to teachers and parents to take co-ownership of the curriculum at their school. After all, as the government will agree, it's not us in Whitehall but those who know our children best - their parents and their teachers - who know best for their education.
Emily Greenwood MP | Labour MP for Workington (1992-present)
Shadow SoS for Education and Employment, Health and Social Security (1994-present)
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#8
In its arrogance, the Government nearly stumbled into a war with Argentina not too long ago.  Now, an arrogant government pushed through a bill through Parliament without hearing any concerns, and has blundered into a teachers' strike.  And the Government is doubling down by insulting teachers.  It is incumbent upon the government to consult with teachers when it crafts education legislation.  This strike did not need to happen, but the government's arrogance has made it sadly inevitable.  Both sides need to sit down and work this out.
Max Power, Labour
MP for Oxford East (1987-present)
Shadow Foreign Secretary (1994-present)
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#9
The points made by Labour Party members may well have some merit had the decision taken by the NUT to request a strike been based on a rational and reasonable critique of the legislation. Unfortunately, it was not: it was based, at least in part, on a view that parents are likely to be unreasonable harridans submitting vexatious charges against schools. Those views are insulting and the Labour Party’s tacit support for them is equally insulting.

It doesn’t matter what veneer of respectability the Shadow Cabinet tries to put around these strikes; the responsibility for them lies with the NUT and the consequences of them will be felt by parents and children.

When it comes to strikes, Labour has no backbone: it will dance to whatever tune its union paymasters play.
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Mrs. Margo Leadbetter
Home Secretary and Secretary of State for DEFRA
Conservative MP for Surbiton
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#10
It seems like the government are so embarrassed by this failing grade from our teachers that their only recourse, for lack of substance, is to the tired old Thatcher cliché of the union paymasters. I think they'll find Labour has very much got its own position in this matter, and that position has gathered broad support. First of all, the NUT literally said what we said about the Microquango Act and its consequences for inequality. Secondly, I have stated repeatedly that I believe that the right for groups of parents to petition Ofsted should be written into the Parents' Charter. And when I go and speak my teaching colleagues, I will tell them that I still believe that, as part of our broader package of measures that invites partnership and coproduction between parents, teachers and government for the best education.
Emily Greenwood MP | Labour MP for Workington (1992-present)
Shadow SoS for Education and Employment, Health and Social Security (1994-present)
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