Opinion Former Article

NASUWT: Local authorities have a key role in education

Representatives at the NASUWT Annual Conference in Birmingham have condemned the war being waged by the Coalition Government against local authorities.

A motion has been passed reaffirming the commitment of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, to promoting democratically accountable local authorities as the guardians of high-quality education services.

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said:

“A Coalition Government, without a mandate from the people of this country, is allowing the Secretary of State for Education arrogantly to decide that he has the freedom to overturn 150 years of state-school history.

“Private providers are now free to turn a profit at the expense of our children and young people.

“Previously public assets are being stripped from local communities, and local democratic accountability is being severed.

“Local authorities elected by local people are best placed to have the strategic oversight of educational provision.

“They won’t walk away when a contract is no longer viable or attractive.

“Our children and young people deserve better than to be left to the vagaries of the market.”

ENDS

 


NASUWT Press Office contacts:
Lena Davies 07867 392 746
Ben Padley 07785 463 119
 

Notes to editors

The NASUWT’s Annual Conference is being held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham from April 6-9.

The full text of the motion that was debated is below.

FUTURE ROLE OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN EDUCATION
Dave Wilkinson to move,
Paula Westcott to second:
Conference believes that the system of state education is now at a critical and dangerous point in its one hundred and fifty years’ history and its whole future is at stake.
Conference is alarmed by the war being waged by the Westminster Coalition Government against local authorities and by the constant erosion of the role and influence of democratically elected bodies as the guardians of publicly accountable quality education.
Conference asserts that the NASUWT will continue to be an advocate for local government to play a pivotal role in the education service.
Conference endorses the continuation of work by the National Executive in attempting to ensure that:
(i) state-funded schools operate in the wider public interest as well as for the benefit of pupils and
(ii) local democratic accountability is retained as a core element in the framework governing the education of the nation’s children. Conference commits the National Executive to campaign for local authorities to:
(a) be effective champions for children, young people, families and the workforce in schools;
(b) retain a robust central role in setting strategic priorities for the education of children and young people and in scrutinising and monitoring the quality of education provision;
(c) be empowered to intervene in matters affecting the quality of educational provision in all state-funded schools;
(d) have a clear remit for the employment of staff in all state-funded schools;
(e) have a statutory duty to ensure the organisation of trade union facilities time in all state-funded schools and
(f) have direct involvement in the governance of all state-funded schools.

(Executive, Kirklees)

 

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