Get real Gove!

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…

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14 responses to “Get real Gove!

  • waterbirthplease

    This suggestion of parents taking over had totally passed me by. How MORONIC! Is that what we sould do next time the fire brigade strike? Or NHS staff? FFS! I too am not striking but the guidelines on what we can and can’t do that day are ridicuous. I know! Lets get Jamie Oliver to sort it all out for us 🙂 x

  • Crystal Jigsaw

    I think it’s a disgrace that he expects parents to take over. For all the reasons you give here it’s outrageous, and also because as I know from personal experience I could never leave my child who is autistic with a person who had no experience of dealing with special needs children. I’ve never heard anything so daft in all my life as a parent! For the record, I think teachers do an amazing job and deserve to earn double the greedy bankers.

    CJ xx

  • JoJo Kirtley

    I would have been striking too but my union has decided not too. My issue with this strike is that most of the teachers at my place don’t care. I’ve heard “well, I’m going to have a lie in” that makes me so angry. Also, most of them voted tory and now they want a strike so they can have a day off.It saddens me that “teaching” such a wonderful profession has been taken over by a bunch of idiots who can’t teach, can’t be bothered with the kids and don’t care about striking at all. Gutted. I just hope that there is a lot more teacher who care otherwise the future of teaching does not look bright at all xxx

  • TheBoyandMe

    Yeah, I’m NASUWT too. Not sure if I’d have been striking; I know it’s a long-term goal but in the short-term I can’t afford to lose the day’s pay.

    However, the idea of parents covering classes leaves me feeling quite incandessant with rage. How very dare he suggest it? Idiot man!

  • apieceoflisa

    An absolutely stupid unhelpful suggestion. Teachers do not provide childcare they facilitate learning, two completely different things.

  • howwelaughed

    Agree that Gove is an absolute moron.

    Correct me if I am wrong but if a school does not have appropriate Safeguarding [ie everyone who enters the school has to be security checked and logged in] they can fail Ofsted. Yet here he is suggesting parents waltz up to schools on Thursday with a CRB [remember, each authority requests its own CRB – nationalised CRBs don’t exist so if your CRB is ‘out of area’ you can’t ‘work’ here] and sets about teaching the National Curriculum with no planning, no assessment and no freakin’ idea?

    This is as effective an idea as teachers reporting to duty at their school in times of severe snow.

    What is it with all this teacher bashing in recent years? Is it simply down to holiday envy? Simple – train and become a teacher!! Can’t offer you a great pension scheme anymore but you do get lots of time off.

  • Midlife Singlemum

    We had a doctors’ strike here in Israel recently. I should have volunteered to stand in for my GP – silly me for not thinking of it.

  • motherventing

    I had no idea Gove had suggested this (guess I should watch the proper news instead of Channel 5 news, eh?) but what a tosser! I agree with everything you said, it TOTALLY undermines EVERYTHING teachers do, and if it happened I can guarantee it would be entirely counter-productive. While the strikes don’t personally affect me I feel I have to support them as my husband’s a teacher (albeit ‘in between’ jobs atm, long story). Great post.

  • spdmum

    Well, what do you expect from someone who has no previous experience in the education sector. Just like all other politicians he’s trying to simplify something he knows nothing about. I wish I could get paid what he does for patronising people who’ve worked hard to get the jobs they hold in schools. Absolutely clueless!

  • Amanda

    I’d have a complete hissy fit if my girls went to school and some random parents were ‘teaching’ them for the day. If they think it’s so easy then why don’t those same parents train up and give it a go? People will always moan, one can’t (and doesn’t want to) please everyone. I support the strike whole-heartedly. I think it’ll take more than a one day strike to sort things out though, this is just the beginning ;0)

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