Just a wee break from the norm (and I apologise if this isn't quite relevant to you) to speak about this man:
[Michael Gove: source]
and this day:
Politics isn't something I generally cover on my blog, but this is something I feel is really rather important. As many of you UK lovelies will know, June 30th is going to be a day of public sector strikes, seeing hundreds of thousands of public sector workers from NUT, PCS, UCU and ALT go on strike against the cuts to pensions being proposed by our government.
My post isn't nessecarily about that (although if you'd like more info about the June 30th plans and how you get involved I recommend visiting this website) but more about what Mr Gove has proposed schools do in order to remain open on Thursday - he's essentially proposing a strike-break and is advising Headteachers to ask Teaching Assistants and Parents to cover the strike. He's even suggested schools "take a break from the National Curriculum" for the day and not "worry about exceeding recommended class sizes".
There are so many issues with this. Firstly, Teaching Assistants - you are not there to teach. Listen to your Unions (and if you're not in a union - join one!) and resist the request. I know it's hard, and I know it'll feel awkward to say no but we must have strength in numbers - even if we can't strike, we can still have solidarity with members of staff who can. If your contract doesn't include the teaching of an entire class and primary responsibility for them, you shouldn't be teaching them.
Secondly, parents. If you aren't CRB checked, you should not be in schools looking after children. It's not just ridiculous - it's plain illegal and it's putting you in danger as much as the children. All it would take is one false accusation and you truly wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Also, please think about what this actually means in terms of standing up to a Government who are making truly ridiculous decisions that will affect not just your life but the lives of your children one day. If you'd really like to help out friends who are struggling for childcare, why not invite your children's friend round to play for the day? I can assure you it's much less stressful for you and much more helpful for the cause.
I know this is a contentious issue and I know that we'll all have our own opinions but I hope that we'll all be able to chose to make the decision that's not just right for us, but for the future of our public sector workers.