Mon, 15 August 2022

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ATL comment on the Queen’s speech

ATL | Association of Teachers and Lecturers

2 min read Partner content

The General Secretary of ATL Dr Mary Bousted reacts to the Queen's Speech

Commenting on aspects of the Queen’s Speech, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said:

"The forced academy programme is policy making without evidence that it will work. There is no proof that academies perform better than other types of school and there is great variation in the effectiveness of different academy chains. If Nicky Morgan was serious about evidence she would allow academy chains to be inspected on the support and challenge these chains provide for their schools. It is remarkable that she has prevented Ofsted from inspecting chains - what does she have to hide?

“The announcement that ‘coasting schools’ will face interventions, including possible forced academisation, is a concern, as the Government has still not defined what a ‘coasting school’ is. It also remains unclear what interventions failing and coasting academies will face - where are the legions of school leaders willing to be drafted in to work with these schools? The fact remains there is a looming crisis of recruitment and retention of school leaders whose jobs are coming to be as insecure as football managers’.

“The extension to the provision of free childcare to offer 30 hours a week for working parents of three- and four-year- olds should be welcomed. High quality early childcare is good for children good for parents. However, it needs well qualified professional staff, excellent resources and cannot be done on the cheap.

“In relation to the strike threshold, the Conservatives are mounting an assault on the right of teachers and other public sector workers to make their views known to employers and to the Government. The Conservative party has consistently refused to discuss ways in which to increase the percentage of trade unionists voting in ballots. Industrial action should always be a last resort - but natural justice demands that it is a realistic last resort.”

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