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Stop Gove's school profits plans
Martin Powell-Davies, NUT teachers' union national executive
The Independent has reported on leaked plans that only confirm what we already knew - that Tory Education Secretary Michael Gove wants to allow big business to make a profit out of running schools.
The report confirms that he wants all 30,000 state schools to become academies.
To encourage sponsors to take schools off his hands, he wants to let academies sell off land and declare a profit to shareholders.
This 'leak' is no surprise. Gove's agenda has always been to privatise and turn schools, like other public services, into just another source of profit for the government's big business friends.
As in Sweden, allowing schools-for-profit will have a disastrous effect on education - but Gove's main concern, along with his Cabinet colleagues, is to deregulate and privatise public services.
This includes attacking teachers' pay and conditions, to drive down the cost of education so big business can more easily make profits.
Gove is seemingly introducing a 'Deregulation Bill' letting schools set their own term dates. Combined with the proposed deregulation of teachers' contracts, this is a recipe for a chaotic school calendar free-for-all where parents find their children are attending different schools with different holiday dates and overall holidays are made even shorter. English schools already have one of the shortest summer holidays in Europe.
Labour's shadow education secretary, Stephen Twigg responded: "I'm glad Michael Gove has finally done something sensible". Clearly opposition to this disastrous deregulation isn't going to come from Labour!
Attacks from all the main political parties mean teachers need to take determined strike action. The 27 June strike action in North West England was a good start but, as Gove and Twigg deregulate, we will have to escalate.
The NUT and NASUWT teachers' unions should name the strike dates for next term as quickly as possible and, above all, move towards national strike days that bring everyone together and make sure the politicians and media start to take notice.
In The Socialist 10 July 2013:
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