From the forums

2nd March 2012 at 00:00

How to win the propaganda war in education.

The public are up in arms about the government's privatisation agenda for the NHS. A similarly underhand privatisation is going on in the education sector and the public largely don't give a flying fuck. What are the NHS workers and their unions doing that we are failing to do?


Not being teachers who only work 9am-3pm for 39 weeks a year. That's how we are perceived. Don't forget everyone loves the NHS - it is a sacred cow.


It actually really guts me just how badly we are thought of. Who do they think educated all those doctors, midwives and nurses?


Doctors and nurses have the very simple aim of making one better through scientific knowledge. Education is a political arena - teachers don't agree about grammar schools, for example, or the importance of the national curriculum.


I think it is a question of image and marketing. There is no efficient and authoritative voice for the teaching profession in the same way that medics have effective representation. An ill-dressed, earring-wearing union representative will never be taken seriously by the wider population. Teaching needs an independent body, created from within the profession, to represent it. Such a body needs to rise above party politics, too.


Maybe we should call it the GTC(E)?


The GTCE mainly concerned itself with stigmatising teachers who failed to live up to their expectations - such as those who were prosecuted for drink-driving in the middle of the holidays. These people wanted to monitor all aspects of our private lives and conduct, even when doing nothing illegal. Like many teachers, I cheered when they were given their P45s.


Join the debate at

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today