Wooed and won;Diary

12th March 1999 at 00:00
SURPRISE support for Doug McAvoy's campaign for one teaching union.

Doug and the National Union of Teachers, you'll recall, are hurting after being rebuffed by rivals NASUWT and the ATL over a joint ballot on the Green Paper. Now we learn Doug's wooing has support at the highest levels.

Charlie Clarke, rotund and slightly bearded education minister, complains that some unions are demanding solo meetings with ministers while others are happy with joint sessions.

"The fragmentation of the teaching unions has been extremely damaging for education," he moaned to a governors' conference recently. "How is one to take these organisations professionally if they conduct themselves as they do?" It's not clear whether his beef is that all these separate meetings cut into his lunches or whether he really wants teachers to speak with a united voice (so why not give the General Teaching Council some real powers then, Charlie?)

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