The NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, today welcomed the Stakeholder Schools Report by the Fabian Society, as a major contribution to the debate on the future of schooling.
Commenting on the Report, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“The advent of a new Government, continuing many of the flawed educational policies of the previous Coalition, cannot be allowed to close down the debate on the future of schooling. Indeed it makes it more critical.
“Since 2010 there has been an obsessive focus on structural change and increased autonomy for individual schools and providers, which has compromised the values and ethos of the public education system.
“Fundamental to our great public services, including education, is that they provide entitlement for all children and young people.
“At the heart of the Fabian Society Report is the concept of a National Constitution for the Schools System, which raises the idea of a set of minimum entitlements for children, parents, staff and the community.
“The NASUWT supports fully the importance of setting out and providing the entitlements our public education service should deliver.
“Under the Coalition, children and young people lost many fundamental entitlements, including the entitlement to be taught by qualified teachers who are recognised and rewarded as highly skilled professionals, the entitlement to a broad-based national curriculum and their entitlement to have access to education regardless of their parents’ ability to pay.
“Teachers suffered similarly, facing attacks on their pay, conditions of service and capability, undermining their professional status.
“Parents are now facing, with the Education and Adoption Bill, the removal of their fundamental entitlement to have a say in the type of school in which their child is educated.
“A National Constitution for the Schools System enshrining basic and entitlements is, therefore, not only welcome but urgently needed.
“Others aspects of the Report echo issues on which the NASUWT has campaigned consistently.
“The call for academy chains to face inspection is now widely supported, including by the Chief Inspector.
“It is scandalous that there has never been a legal requirement for full consultation with parents, staff, pupils and the community when a school is faced with the prospect of academy conversion and we welcome the Report calling for this.
“The extra funding to support the co-operative model of schooling, as outlined in the Report, goes to the heart of ensuring that schools operate within the vales and ethos of a public service. Co-operation and collaboration are important ways to deliver consistent improvements in our public education system.
“The NASUWT looks forward to engaging in the debate the Report will generate.”
Notes to editors:
The Fabian Society ‘Stakeholder Schools’ report can be found at http://www.fabians.org.uk/publications/england-needs-a-national-constitution-for-schools-says-fabian-report/