Government Isn’t Making the Grade

Stacey Gray is President of NASUWT Cornwall

Ahead of the Secretary of State for Education’s Speech to Conservative Party Conference at 1200, Stacey Gray writes for UnionHome.


Teachers are dedicated, students are hard working and their parents offer quiet but endless support: the result is constantly improving examination grades. However, this year was different. This year saw numerous exams and exam boards changing grade boundaries, and for the first time, a slump in the exam grades that GCSE students have achieved.


You may have seen the media coverage that centred on the English GCSE examinations but it was not the only subject affected. History, geography, French and Spanish to name just a few.  The subject choices are moulded on Gove’s understanding of a ‘good education’ – one that was created during his own public schooling – how very comprehensive.


The ‘English Baccalaureate’ as it has been dubbed is the new measure that schools must use to measure success and progress. The EB consists of English, maths, science, a humanity and a language.  Therefore students will be guided towards these subjects in their options by schools feeling the pressure to deliver.


What about the student keen to do study technology, catering or performing arts? No room for that! What happens to the teachers who don’t teach the chosen few subjects? They either adapt and teach another subject – perhaps one that they’ve never taught before or they’re made redundant.  What sort of choice is that?


The NASUWT has campaigned tirelessly against the English Baccalaureate. It doesn’t benefit teachers and it certainly doesn’t benefit students… but this is all part of a bigger plan that is designed to dismantle state education. Inconsistent examinations, constant scrutiny, extra red tape, academies, free schools, the planning of the ‘Gove level’ – the list goes on.


This is part of the government’s wider plan to dismantle the public sector as a whole – something that the NASUWT will continue to campaign against alongside our fellow unions.


Posted in: Blog Posts |

Tagged with: , ,

Leave a Reply