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Gove antagonises and amuses over strikes

Michael Gove overstepped the mark in writing to headteachers to try to persuade them to remain open under any circumstances on the teachers' day of industrial action yesterday.

Since when have the "best school leaders" herded what could run into hundreds of pupils from different year groups into one place and supervised them completely on their own for lesson after lesson when the students are expecting to be taught different subjects by different teachers? This may well "minimise the impact on... parents" but it could have hardly "minimised the impact on pupils". Mr Gove has shown a total disregard for their safety and welfare. What if a child or the head had been taken ill, or there had been a fight or a fire?

Teachers were desperate to avoid industrial action and would have willingly entered into meaningful negotiations with the Government. We cannot stand by and allow it to pursue the proposed changes to our pensions.

At present, England produces approximately 2,000 physics graduates each year. Mr Gove wants 925 physics graduates, all with a minimum of a 2:2, to start training to become physics teachers this September to overcome the shortage.

What effect does he think the attack on teachers' pensions will have? No graduate with a good degree would even consider joining the profession if the proposed changes go ahead.

Sarah Duverne, Groton, Suffolk.

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