Extraordinary exchange of letters
here between Chris Keates, General Secretary of the teaching union NASUWT and Schools Minister Lord Hill. After weeks of hearing that unions are bullying governors and head teachers, it appears that the boot is on the other foot. Ministers are now so desperate that they must resort to bullying schools themselves to achieve their ideological objectives. Hill, no doubt at Michael Gove's request, has written to schools considering academy status, threatening not to give permission for conversion if they consider retaining school teachers pay and conditions, which several existing Labour academies have chosen to do.
In the letter Lord Hill states: 'We consider the ability to set the pay and conditions of staff to be one of the key freedoms of academy status. Consequently the existence of any such agreement will be a significant factor in the assessment the Secretary of State will make before deciding whether or not to enter into a Funding Agreement for an Academy'
This is just another example of the government spouting empty rhetoric about 'freedom' and 'autonomy' while trying to control everything at the same time . Surely it should be up to the school, and it's governors, to decide how they manage their staff. And why would ministers care so much about schools sticking to national pay rates and conditions anyway, unless it is because they think that the private providers that they eventually want to usher in , won't like the idea.