The teachers’ dispute on workload, currently being run jointly with a campaign on pay and pensions, needs relaunching on a wholly new basis.
If NUT and NASUWT are serious about using school-based action to frustrate Gove's reforms, win real gains for teachers across the board and build strength and confidence for the national strike action then some basics would need to be put in place:
• Encourage the building of joint action committees in every school
• Publicise every dispute and pour resources into winning
• Highlight every victory in national publications, school bulletins and circulars
• Move to strike action in any school where the union reps are threatened with any form of victimisation, intimidation or pressure after the escalation of action
• Build combine committees across the major academy chains to co-ordinate action in those schools.
• Co-ordinate action across schools where the issue is the same, especially where the local authority or academy chain is refusing to agree a compliant pay policy.
None of this guarantees success but the difference is that it is serious and ambitious.
That approach can enthuse people, engage the new activists emerging from the recent strikes, and shake up the caution and timidity at the top.