Biblical onslaught

13th September 2013 at 01:00

We will have to take Gerard Kelly's word for it that his comments on teaching unions in his final editorial ("Not a long goodbye, but a heartfelt one", 30 August) were "well intentioned", as he says; they were certainly "prejudiced", as he admitted.

No doubt he was happy to be quoted as cover by education secretary Michael Gove last week, who cited "the Bible for teachers" as being the source of comments on the rising quality of teachers under his regime. Perhaps TES' new editor can restore credibility to that biblical claim.

At a time when the education system is reeling from the onslaught caused by this government's agenda of state education privatisation, why are the wholly reasonable challenges from the teaching unions portrayed as giving "miserable representation"? As Mr Kelly admits elsewhere in his editorial, teachers are expert at dealing with change, but that does not make all change good. The teaching unions stand ready to discuss reform; Mr Gove's view, aided by Mr Kelly, that union leaders are among the enemies of promise and are all extreme-left radicals is far from helpful in achieving the best outcomes for schools.

John Pemberthy, NUT National Executive member writing in a personal capacity.

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