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Teachers and legislation

Teachers hate legislation. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers is a British teaching union. In 2010 its then president Lesley Ward said:

What was being debated in the 1970s is pretty similar to what is being debated four decades later. I am onto my 15th secretary of state for education and my 29th minister for education. I have lived through, endured, survived, call it what you like, 54 pieces of education legislation since I started teaching. One more and it would be one for each year of my life.

Clearly she wants to get the government out of education and her life. “Trust us and leave us to do our job,” she concludes. Good for her!

Then yesterday:

A motion at the [ATL] conference called on ministers to introduce “stringent legislation” to counter the “negative effects some computer games are having on the very young”.

I imagine that most teachers have no difficulty holding both of these views. Most people would like government to leave them alone and stop other people from annoying them.

7 comments to Teachers and legislation

  • Derek Buxton

    “Leave us to do our job” the teacher said. We may have more faith in that if we did not see the results all around us. No discipline, little learning, no critical faculty, how odd as we have such wonderful teachers as this (not).

  • But is that the fault of teachers or of government meddling in teaching? The best way to find out is to get the state out of education.

  • mdc

    They want to go back to the good old days when the government gave them money and let them do whatever they wanted with it with no checks on whether they actually did anything of use to their pupils. The test system that replaced it is as flawed as Soviet tractor production quotas, but that’s the inevitable logic of trying to run an industry centrally.

    Ultimately teachers would much rather have that than a market in education, which would put the power in the hands of parents as customers, rather than in teachers as state officials, and might actually result in them being fired for trivial matters like incompetence.

  • Yet another compelling argument for Home Schooling I see.

  • RRS

    Similar to these issues in the U S., an underlying question is: Who are the recipients of these privileges granted through political power?

    That is especially critical in those institutions (largely created or dominated by political means) that now comprise the “education systems” in our two nations.

    Circumventing those institutions, as PdeH notes, and by Charter, or other schooling methods though civil (non-governmental) instrumentalities has begun, since reform (purely rhetorical) is ineffective.

  • Brian, follower of Deornoth

    Quite. The public should have no influence whatever on schools and teaching. Apart from handing over the money, of course.

  • Brian, ministers and civil servants coming up with barmy ideas and forcing them upon teachers is not the same thing as the public having influence.