I counted five issues which the NUT conference suggested that teachers
might strike over. But in a conference full of the usual bluster, the most noteworthy threat was not to cooperate with Ofsted inspections.
Ever since the new chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw — who was hugely successful as the head of Mossbourne academy — announced that a merely satisfactory grade would no longer be
regarded as good enough, the teaching unions have taken agin him. But not cooperating with Oftsed would be unlawful. Anyone who tried to block an inspection would be liable to prosecution and a
Another issue exercising the unions is George Osborne’s proposals for regional
pay for the public sector. But given that soon more than half of all secondary schools will be academies, this opposition is rather futile as academies already have the power to vary
But, perhaps, the most depressing image of the weekend was Chris Keates of the NASUWT haranguing a cardboard cut-out of Michael Gove. It
says all too much about elements of the teaching profession that they choose Keates to be their figurehead.