Commenting on the speech by the Secretary of State for Education at Conservative Party Conference, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said;
"I am pleased that Michael Gove recognises the hard work and commitment of teachers. However, I disagree with the picture he paints of our education system. Children are being failed not through a lack of classical education, but through the testing and assessment regime in our schools which leads to a narrowing of the curriculum and teaching to the test.
"Educational inequality will not be addressed by academies. Research shows that in fact the opposite is often true and it is the most disadvantaged pupils who benefit least.
"Pupils are already subject to disciplinary powers when outside of school grounds. Michael Gove's sweeping pledge is presently without substance.
"Using disused office space as schools is an ill thought out and nonsensical idea, and is yet another example of how rushed legislation is nothing short of folly.
"This is the 21st century. Surely we can plan and provide for our country's education in a coherent fashion. Michael Gove is right to be passionate about education. It can and does change lives but he must not be allowed, with reckless pace, to dismantle our state education system."
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