I need to have a rant. I think I’ve got the bug. I need to say it: Get real Gove!!
Ok, so the fact that teachers are striking on Thursday perhaps doesn’t sit so well with some of you, since its likely that you may have to have a day off on Thursday yourselves due to schools closing and lack of childcare. They said on the radio today that teachers provide two services: education and childcare and whilst missing one day at school won’t have massive impacts on learning at this point in the year (hey, we were allowed a day off for the Royal Wedding after all) it will have massive impacts on the childcare element of school. I know this. My husband is taking a day to look after the big one because her school is closing.
I’m not striking because the union I’m in has not chosen to do so. Had I been in one of the other unions, I would be striking.
I know that the issue of striking can divide many and that’s fine. I’m entitled to agree with the strikes and you’re entitled to find them annoying. Also, I suppose Gove is entitled to try all that he can to fight the strikes, since it’s his government that caused them in the first place. But asking parents to take over the teaching for the day? Come on, now. Get real, Gove.
Firstly, parents who already hold a CRB are unlikely to hold one specific for their child’s school, which means that they can’t teach there for one day because you need a different CRB for each establishment you enter. Also, an unqualified teacher will need supervising. I certainly wouldn’t appreciate my child being taught by a parent with no teaching qualifications or skills.
Secondly, don’t parents have enough of a headache having to take a day off work in the first place? Aren’t they then going to be undermining teachers massively by stepping in for the day? Does Gove really think this will help?
The National Association of Headteachers has “strongly advised heads against the use of parent volunteers to cover for striking staff on Thursday.” (BBC article) This is because the risk of things going wrong could mean great repercussions for headteachers. These volunteer parents may not be first aid trained, they may not be equipped to deal with behaviour issues or special educational needs. They may not know how to correcly use equipment or how to safely and correctly restrain pupils should the need arise. Schools are not insured.
Mary Bousted of the Association for Teachers and Lecturers summed up the whole preposterous suggestion perfectly:
“It’s very rich of the secretary of state to talk about teaching being a professional job, a very skilled job, and then to say anybody can come in and babymind.”
First he wants ex-military persons to come and show us how to do it, now he wants unqualified parents to come and save the day. Whatever next?
So, will YOU be volunteering to break the strike and teach your kids at school this week? I’d love to know what you think…