Thursday, 27 March 2008

All out on 24th April

The Classroom Teacher leaflet on what to do if the union votes to strike on 24th April can be downloaded here

You can download it and print it out at no charge. Some associations are copying it with due acknowledgement in their own publicity for the strike.

24th April could be a golden opportunity to recruit new activists to transform the union.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

N U T Conference 2008: The Easter Miracle

N U T Conference 2008: The Easter Miracle

I thoroughly enjoyed NUT conference. Bill Greenshields’ presidential address was inspiring with its emphasis on the class basis of British society and his more-or-less unflappable demeanour made for a well-organised conference. Sometimes his avuncular chairmanship put me in mind of an uncle from my youth, Joe I think his name was. 

The way the conference worked, the Executive Priority motion meant most calls for action were ruled out of order. This gives the National Executive an enormous opportunity to display flexibility. With an apparent left numerical majority on the Exec (depending on how you calculate these things) they must prove to be our flexible friends and not the government’s.

On Sunday on the tram there was a lot of talk about the Jerry Glazier Easter Miracle where Jerry apparently saw the light on the road to Damascus and ended up agreeing with Martin Powell-Davies on the need to link action on class size, workload and pay together.

After the Classroom Teacher discussion on Sunday I look forward to April 24th and recruiting new activists from the first-time strikers who will be involved. The classroom teacher flyer will be available for people to download and print out

The WSTA delegation had a gender balance of 7:2 which reflects the gender balance of the union. Other delegations can do likewise and perhaps the National Executive too.

We recorded our thoughts on the conference blog from which you will see that two first-time delegates who are supply teachers were moved to see the consideration the union is giving to their plight.

Monday, 10 March 2008

The campaign against Academies

I was asked to write this for the London Progressive Journal. Here is a preview.
The campaign against Academies

The standard response of politicians of all stripes to criticism is to say the criticism is based on data is out of date and the issues referred to have been addressed. The Academies issue is no exception. Any politician these days will admit that the Academies program was a shambles and many of the sponsors were shysters but now the whole act has been cleaned up. In West Sussex, for example, instead of some second-hand car salesman they have the services of an educational body with a “proven track record” and the Local Authority is itself involved in the bid.

The reality is that the educational body in question is the Woodard Corporation which has a “proven track record” of running elitist religious schools. When a meeting of 150 parents and teachers was held to discuss the academy bid they contemptuously refused to send anybody to speak to them. They would sooner take advice from their servants than from parents or teachers.

The Local Authority may have a representative on the governing body but the unelected Woodard Corporation will have as many as it wants.

If you have concerns about your local school you can hold the local authority to account. The religious foundations are answerable only to the Almighty and the private companies are only answerable to their shareholders.

Far from being benevolent institutions aiming to help the community, the sponsors get the control of a 20 million pound school for 2 million pounds. They can (and do) then use this patronage to hire consultants of their choice at a fee of their choosing and to opt for educational suppliers of their choice – money no object.

Unusually all of the educational unions are united on this issue. There is an anti-academies alliance which you can contact. If an academy is proposed in your area (and it will be) give them a ring on 07528 201 697 or email

Their website is

Terry Teacher

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Some people are gay, get over it.

These posters are appearing all over the place.

Download and print out your own.