LETTER: Educating the teachers' unions

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The Independent Online
From Mr Norman Boast

Sir: In your leading article "Teachers strike an uncaring pose" (17 April), you appear to have overlooked one vital fact in your comparison of the NUT and the British Medical Association. The Government has done exactly what it wants with the medical profession and the NHS, consistently ignoring the advice of the experts within the profession.

Teachers have likewise been largely ignored throughout the money-wasting fiasco of government education policy and the whims of successive Education Secretaries. The exception has been the successful opposition to wholesale testing, which was achieved by direct action, not "more subtle tactics".

While the moderate teacher unions seek to orchestrate public support, as you suggest, classes have continued to get bigger, school buildings have degenerated to become increasingly unfit for their purpose and teachers are being made redundant to balance the budgets of under-funded schools.

Surely there comes a point when, seeing so much being done to damage the education of children, teachers must do more than wait for public support.

Yours faithfully,




17 April