Warnings that were ignored

23rd March 2001 at 00:00
David Blunkett's denunciation of the teacher unions is fuelled by guilt. The education select committee warned the Government, back in November 1997: "We conclude there is a crisis in teacher recruitment. We have grave concerns that if this is not tackled then the drive to raise standards may not be realised." The chair of the committee was Margaret Hodge, now an employment minister.

Following that warning, my book, The Best Policy?, traces a pattern, repeated for more than three years. Education experts and union leaders frequently warned of problems, only to be waved away.

The squawking from the Department for Education and Employment is the sound of chickens coming home to roost.

Paul Francis

7 Swan Meadown

Much Wenlock, Shropshire

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, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today