Schools: unite teachers and students!

Submitted by Matthew on 15 April, 2010 - 3:07 Author: Joe Flynn

Superficially there seems nothing wrong with the call by the conference of the NASUWT (the second-biggest teaching union) for industrial action against the extension of pupil power without consultation.

Like all trade unionists I don’t think management should bring in any new policy without consultation. But over an Easter weekend when NUT conference tried to prepare for the coming avalanche of attacks on the public sector, we were treated to the spectacle of our “sister” union grabbing the headlines by launching an extraordinary attack on Student Voice.

For those unaware, Student Voice is one of the few progressive school policies New Labour has introduced. In line with the UN charter on children’s rights, schools have been encouraged to allow students to express their views on the running of schools.

I actually think this falls well short of what is required, as the quality of it varies wildly from school to school.

For NASUWT to claim pupils have too much power is counterproductive, at a time when teachers should be building solidarity with students against attacks on educational provision.

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