In a previous post, I had expressed bemusement about my son's teachers going on strike on Wednesday 30th March but now I have more information, I definitely support it. The Tower Hamlet's branch of the National Union of Teachers
, the East London Teacher's Association or ELTA, are taking the action because of the drastic cuts to the Local Authority teaching services. ELTA list these reasons for striking on their leaflet (as far as I can see this is the first listing on the web):
9 jobs are being cut from the team which supports children with Special Needs and children who need behaviour support
41 jobs are being cut from the team which trains and supports teachers in the work they do;
Borough-wide support for newly-qualified teachers will disappear
29 jobs are being cut from Children's Centres; this includes 11 teachers -- which goes against all research and evidence
Schools Sports Co-ordinators are being cut
The ICT support centre is being closed
The Junior Youth Service is being closed
Of course, the government will reply that schools can buy into some of these services if they want them. According to the government, schools have been devolved more of the budgets that used to go to the LAs. This though would be disingenuous; the LA appears to have shut down these services BEFORE schools can "buy into them". Standards have risen more in Tower Hamlets across the board than anywhere in the country; this is partly because of the support that LA has provided in training. In a previous post, we were talking about the importance of giving support to teachers who are in difficulties; good LAs are able to do this. But not for much longer.
Now I know this I have a great deal more sympathy for the teachers going on strike.
What's happening in Tower Hamlets is going on up and down the country: the education services of LAs are being decimated. Why are teachers in other LAs not protesting too?