Sunday, 26 June 2011

Public Service Announcement: June 30th

Hello lovelies,

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.


  1. That's just awful - the schools that my children go to (primary and secondary) are both closing the classes where the teachers are members of a striking union (primary), and re-arranging classes so that Years 10 and 12 get to go to school, the junior years stay at home (senior). Though the senior school does say that if you cannot look after your children due to work etc, then they will provide cover for them - even though they will probably be watching DVD's in the hall! It's so bad to ask TAs and/or parents to cover :oO

  2. A lot of my colleagues are striking too - I'm not in the union so I won't be but each to their own!

  3. Too Busy to stitch - I think that seems to be what most schools are going for but I think it's really quite worrying that there's a call coming from the top to draft in TAs and parents. Some of the things that have been said about this strike are really, really terrible (Gove suggested that teachers would "lose credibility" if they strike - utter nonsense!) I definitely agree that some cover needs to be made (i.e. a dvd in the hall) but yeah - we can't just pretend the strike isn't happening.

    Becky - I'm not in a striking union either which is frustrating but yeah - I guess my big thing is doing as much as I can to support those who are :)

  4. Very interesting. I am not in either of those unions, but at my school the people that are, have chosen not to strike, as only their classes would be closed to children, so I think they were put under pressure not to. I think his comments about how to deal with it shows that he was treating the day more like free childcare than education. But I won't go into it any more.


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