Chalk Talk: Michael Gove has achieved the impossible: uniting the teaching unions
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Thursday 07 June 2012
Honestly, you go on holiday for a week and the whole educational landscape changes. Not, this time, as a result of some government initiative, but a "historic" joint declaration by the National Union of Teachers and National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers.
It commits them to a unified campaign of strikes and industrial action over pay, pensions, working conditions and job losses. Education Secretary Michael Gove, it seems, has achieved what his predecessors failed to do and got the two rivals working together. But the unions scotched any idea the move could pave the way for an eventual merger.
However, now that they have negotiated their way to a joint agreement on industrial action, maybe they could come up with another consensus – on which is the biggest organisation of the two.
* Good news two weeks running – the pioneering university technical college in the heart of East London that I wrote about two weeks ago has been given the go-ahead by ministers. The new East London University Technical College, which aims to provide youngsters with the technical expertise they need to become engineers, is one of 15 of the new breed of colleges approved by Education Secretary Michael Gove.
Some of the others on the list appear quite imaginative proposals, too. For instance, there is a UTC specialising in aviation engineering, located close to London's Heathrow Airport. In all, there will be 34 UTCs opening by September 2014 – in excess of the 24 envisaged by the Government.
At least one area of education is, therefore, expanding – although it does have its critics, who claim UTCs will divert resources away from existing institutions.
The point is, though, that many existing institutions providing vocational education lack credibility with the employers their youngsters wish to work for. The UTCs seem to have a chance of overcoming this hurdle.
Incidentally, I suppose it's too much to hope for funding for the innovative dance school featured today?
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
scienceScientists find the answer to a question that even puzzled Darwin
A very timely Great Train Robbery and a frantic 24 Hours in A&E among the highlights
scienceThe new development in bio-printing technology could be used in the future to restore lost vision - though years of research still await
Geoffrey Macnab: The Wolf of Wall Street's account of white-collar excess is A Rake’s Progress on steroids
arts + entsThe 'Friends' actor on his new role as campaigner on addiction issues
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Colin Farrell reveals ‘affair’ with Elizabeth Taylor: 'She was my last romantic relationship'
Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
Devyani Khobragade: India-US row escalates over arrest of diplomat in New York
Peter O'Toole: Tales of the late film icon
- 1 Facebook 'self-censorship': study records when you don't post to find more ways to share
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 ‘Why we don't have snow in Saudi Arabia’: Video captures winter fun as Middle East hit with rare blizzard
- 4 Vitamin pills are a waste of money, offer no health benefits and could be harmful - study
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >
£100 - £125 per day + Negotiable on role: Randstad Education London: Are you f...
£21000 - £30000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A full time teacher job a...
£125 - £135 per day + Long Term Roles are negotiable: Randstad Education Londo...
£125 - £135 per day + negotiable for long term roles: Randstad Education Londo...