Avoid empty gestures

12th May 1995 at 01:00
The National Union of Teachers is a healthy, living body - and as such is very attractive to those who seek to pervert such organisations for their own ends. It is clearly essential that the members reassert their control over those structures of their union where this is occurring, and to prevent domination by unrepresentative factions.

Despite the positive achievements of the union, the range of knee-jerk reactions, leftist posturing and childish displays of temper which dominated the press coverage of our conference will have dismayed all those with a real concern for the defence of education.

The juvenile and destructive antics of some at conference are unrepresentative of the overwhelming majority of NUT members and the work they do at school, association, divisional and national levels. Also most structures of the union are not subject to this parasitic activity.

I was infuriated at their behaviour as it could lead to the disruption of positive work being done by the union to consolidate the united opposition of the whole education community - teachers, students, parents and governors - to the Government's destructive policies. In Derbyshire such opposition has been reflected in a broadly based campaign which has found expression in many activities, including the Derbyshire People's Lobby of Parliament, which took 3,000 Derbyshire people to London to voice their opposition. This united and spirited defence of education is planned to continue throughout the year, focusing on key issues - most immediately that of class size.

To substitute tokenistic industrial action for such broad and continuing campaigning can only be to the advantage of the enemies of education.

BILL GREENSHIELDS

President NUT Derbyshire division

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

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