Gove antagonises and amuses over strikes

1st July 2011 at 01:00

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.

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