Nick Gibb: NUT strike is 'pointless'

5th July 2016 at 13:42
union, strike, national union of teachers, nut, kevin courtney, nick gibb
The schools minister tells MPs there is 'absolutely no justification' for today’s action

Nick Gibb, the schools minister, has criticised today's strike action by the NUT teaching union, saying it has "absolutely no justification". Responding to a question in Parliament, he added: "This strike is a futile, politically motivated gesture, and nothing to do with raising standards in education…

"The industrial action by the NUT is pointless, but it’s far from inconsequential. It disrupts children’s education, it inconveniences parents and it damages the profession’s reputation in the eyes of the public."

Responding to an urgent question raised in the House of Commons by Nic Dakin, Labour MP for Scunthorpe, Mr Gibb argued that the schools’ budget – at £40 billion – represented an increase on funding for the previous year.

'Lost the plot'

In reply, Mr Dakin said: "Everyone knows that, despite the secretary of state’s protestations, school budgets are going to fall, in real terms, up to 2020. Headteachers know this, parents know this, and it’s been confirmed by the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

"The only person who’s shoving her hand [sic] in the sand is the secretary of state…It’s clear that the government have lost the plot."

Mr Gibb insisted that he had been speaking to union leaders since May, in order to address some of the concerns raised by striking teachers.

"Our school workforce is and must remain a respected profession, suitable for the 21st century," he said. "But this action is seeking to take the profession back in public perception to the tired and dated disputes of the 20th century…

"This anachronistic and unnecessary strike is a march back into a past that no one wants to revisit."

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow TES on Twitter and like TES on Facebook

Loved these articles?

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you’ll get access to more news, courses, jobs and teaching resources.

Login/Register now


Related Content

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now