TEACHERS must “get more angry” to resist cuts and global education profiteers, NUT general secretary Christine Blower urged yesterday.
Addressing her union’s conference on its final day, Ms Blower vowed to step up resistance to the so-called global education reform movement (Germ).
Numerous speeches and motions at the conference, which ran over the Easter weekend, referred to Germ as shorthand for the profit agenda creeping into state education.
“Why is it, that over the last two or three decades, multinational corporations, along with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have become so interested in education?” she asked.
“Well, I think it’s pretty clear that it is because large sums of taxpayers’ money are spent on education.
“We believe … that this should be spent through public authorities on the provision of a public good, but where we see investment, others with different approaches, attitudes and politics see the potential for profit.”
Ms Blower hailed the departure of hated education secretary Michael Gove but said that his successor Nicky Morgan had continued his toxic work.
“Alas, although the man has gone, the policy did not change,” she said.
“The academies and free schools programme is still with us.”
She followed the union’s vow to resume strike action if the new government does not reverse cuts believed to result in redundancies with a message of hope.
“We will fight for pay and pensions and conditions that our members deserve, we will fight for the education from qualified teachers that our children deserve and we will fight for social justice everywhere,” she said.
“And along the way, we will also seek to have fun, build friendships and comradeship.
“It’s absolutely about bread but, as the song says, it’s about roses too.”
Ms Blower also branded the increasing number of deaths from asbestos poisoning a “stain on our society.”
A motion delayed from Monday on the subject was passed yesterday, calling for ministers to stump up the cash to remove the deadly substance from school buildings.
“They’re an absolute disgrace, they’re criminally negligent and the sooner they’re all locked up the better,” said Brent delegate Hank Roberts, proposing.