Industrial news in brief Matthew Wed, 12/13/2017 - 12:24

The local government employers have proposed a two year pay offer for council and school support staff workers of 2% in 2018 and a further 2% in 2019.

Unison, GMB and Unite, as the largest unions representing local government workers, will now put the offer to their respective committees for consideration.

Initial statements from the three unions suggest they at least partially welcome a wage rise that is above the 1% pay cap, but it is well below the level needed to restore anywhere like the 20% cut that workers have faced since 2010.

Wakefield academy bosses rip off schools Matthew Wed, 10/25/2017 - 10:04
Education Protest

In the first week of September, the Wakefield Academy Trust (WCAT) announced that they were no longer able “to facilitate the rapid improvement our schools need and our students deserve”. Just two days into a new school term WCAT was declaring its own dissolution and abandoning its 21 schools. But missing from the public statement or the letter to parents was any promise to return the millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money poured into the Trust since it was established in 2013.

Industrial news in brief Matthew Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:13

On Wednesday the 11, October Jeremy Hunt told the House of Commons that the 1% pay cap will be lifted for NHS staff. After the government buckled under pressure and lifted the public sector pay cap for police and prison officers, the government had shown it was weak and it was only a matter of time before it was forced into lifting the cap for other workers.

Labour: rebuild the welfare state Matthew Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:53

The welfare state created by the 1945 Labour government was a little bit of the “political economy of the working class” carved out of a still capitalist economy (a phrase Karl Marx first used to describe the victory of the fight for a ten-hour working day).

To some extent the ruling class has been forced to accept a minimal level of state provision. There is a constant battle over what proportion of profits is redirected, over who should receive support, and what sort of support is given. The ruling class has been winning that battle for some time.

Tories seek mandate to increase cuts, inequality, poverty

Submitted by Matthew on 3 May, 2017 - 7:41 Author: Martin Thomas

“Mrs May”, writes the Tory-leaning columnist of the Financial Times, Janan Ganesh, “could not survive an election campaign saying so little so often if people paid attention”. Since so many don’t, “the repetition of slogans in lieu of answers carries no cost”. Fraser Nelson, another Tory, comments in the Spectator: “She seems to think that, if you refuse to give the press anything, the public won’t care. Worse, she seems to be right – for now, at least”. May’s purpose, so Nelson writes, is not to “seek a mandate”, but to evade one.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by AWL on 18 January, 2017 - 1:44 Author: Ollie Moore, Charlotte Zalens, Peggy Carter, Michael Elms and Gemma Short

Tube workers’ union RMT has announced its members on stations will strike again from 6 February unless London Underground bosses meet its demands for an increased staffing level. The company’s latest proposal is to reinstate 250 of the jobs it cut under the “Fit for the Future” programme, but RMT has rejected the offer as insufficient.

Ofsted prefers middle-class schools Matthew Wed, 11/30/2016 - 11:35

Research on Ofsted points to endemic problems in the schools system and inspection regime. Last week, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) released important findings about the fairness of Ofsted reports in England. They found a “systematic negative correlation” between schools with children from poorer backgrounds or lower prior attainment and positive Ofsted judgments.

A vicious circle in schools Matthew Thu, 11/10/2016 - 11:22

Between half-term of summer 2016 and Xmas 2016, over half the maths teachers in the London secondary school where I teach will have quit.

The maths department is more stable than most. Our science department, for example, went through almost a Year Zero in 2015, with almost a complete turnover of staff. And our school is probably more stable than most in low-income areas of London.

Tories drop Education Bill

Submitted by Matthew on 2 November, 2016 - 11:08 Author: Pat Murphy, National Union of Teachers Executive (personal capacity)

On 27 October, the government announced that it would drop plans for a new Education Bill any time before summer 2017.

In his last budget statement as Chancellor, George Osborne had announced that all schools in England would be forced to convert to academy status by 2022. The following day, 17 March, the then education secretary Nicky Morgan published a White Paper which outlined the variety of ways in which this goal would be achieved.

No to school uniforms! AWL Wed, 09/14/2016 - 11:36

Hartsdown Academy, in Kent, sent 50 students home on the first day of term for “incorrect” school uniform.

Nervous 11-year-olds on their first day in big school were turned away because of quibbles about their socks, or buckles on their shoes.Yet the headteacher and the academy chain bosses are defiantly self-righteous. They want to stop the school being “scruffy”.

There is no evidence that wearing costly, awkward, and weird clothes helps learning. School uniforms are unknown in Finland, which comes top in world assessments, and in France and Germany.