Saturday, July 17, 2010

Defend Our Schools!

It's good news that UNISON is calling on members to support the lobby of Parliament called at short notice for Monday (http://www.unison.org.uk/asppresspack/pressrelease_view.asp?id=1925).

The lobby (http://www.teachers.org.uk/node/11783) was called in opposition to the ConDem Coalition plans to break up comprehensive education by encouraging more and more schools to become "Academies" - undermining both the role of democratically accountable local education authorities and the national conditions of service of schools staff. All those who pushed hard for UNISON (and other unions) to back the Anti-Academies Alliance (http://www.antiacademies.org.uk/) have been vindicated for a second time now that the real Tories have picked up the weapon forged for them by New Labour and started to use it to smash up state education.

The cackhanded cancellation of so many "Building Schools for the Future" (BSF) projects has given an added purpose to Monday's lobby (which will now be addressed by Ed Balls - maybe someone could ask him why he thought it such a good idea to create Academy status and so make the Tories' job even easier than it needed to be?)

BSF was a deeply flawed programme using private money (and offering private profit) to rebuild our crumbling schools - but the Tories are taking it away and offering no hope of improvement (unless Academies can strike their own deals with private firms who can find new ways to turn a profit at the expense of our children).

Whatever we may think of former New Labour Ministers, we need all the allies we can get in the fight to defend state education (which is a vital part of the fight to defend our Welfare State).

Branch work will keep me from Monday's lobby - but this is only the start of what can and must become a tidal wave of opposition to the Government's attacks on our schools.

This is a Government of public schoolboys (and they are mostly boys!) As they butcher our state education they underline - for this beneficiary of comprehensive education - the difference between (even "New") Labour and the Tories.

I was angry with New Labour for betraying us. I am angry with Cameron and Clegg simply for existing. They aren't our "class enemy" because of some outdated Marxist dogma but because of what they will happily do to undermine the life chances of our children.

I had a brilliant state education and so did millions of my generation - now we need to fight to defend this for the future.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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