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Press Release

Press Releases

NUT comment on Michael Gove's letter to schools re NUT/ NASUWT action short of strike action

Commenting on the letter sent to schools by Michael Gove about the
on-going action by NUT and NASUWT members, Christine Blower, General
Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers'
union, said:

"This is a continuation of Michael Gove's war on teachers. One might
well ask why Michael Gove is releasing this advice now, three months
into our action. We believe it is to distract from the GCSE re-grading
court case, the isolation that Michael Gove finds himself in over the
EBacc and his forced academies policy. It will also distract attention
from the PIRLS, TIMSS and Pearson studies, all of which show England and
Wales to be doing very well. All these factors undermine the Education
Secretary's determination to break up our education system.

"Our joint action with the NASUWT is a measured response to the
unacceptable attacks on teachers. This action short of strike action is
not disruptive to pupils' learning but a challenge to the increasing
burden of unnecessary tasks and the undermining of acceptable pay and
conditions of service imposed by the Secretary of State. The action that
our members are taking is giving back professional freedom whereby
teachers can focus on teaching and learning rather than accountability
tasks. In the vast majority of schools there has been no problem
associated with this action. Our members are in schools working hard in
the interest of all pupils. They are also continuing to undertake
voluntary activities demonstrating their commitment over and above what
is contractually required.

"We believe few schools will wish to take Michael Gove's advice. Taking
action against our members would not only undermine the good will of
teachers but force the Union to take alternative forms of action which
has, after three months of action, only been necessary at a small number
of schools. Rather than taking such an unnecessary, confrontational
approach to the dispute it would be far better for Michael Gove to
positively engage with the NUT and NASUWT to resolve the issues of
concern."

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