NASUWT attacks private role in education

2 Aug 01
The government's relationship with the main public sector unions took another downward turn this week when the teaching union, the NASUWT, said plans to privatise education services were 'dubious' and would result in high profits for companies while faili

03 August 2001

In a formal response to the government's plans to allow the privatisation of education services, the NASUWT said it planned to take the fight to the Trades Union Congress conference in September to try to halt the changes.

In a motion sent to the TUC, the union leadership said the government should have confidence in its own record of improving education services without resorting to privatisation, which was undermining confidence in public services.

Deputy general secretary Chris Keates said government plans were 'completely unnecessary, and a ruse to create the means by which local authorities, which do not share its enthusiasm for the private sector, can be pressed to contract out'.

The union is also concerned that the government plans to allow for-profit companies to take over school services. Keates added: 'The time when a teacher's performance in the classroom will be judged in the context of a contribution to company profits rather than to children's education is not far away.'

The government's own initiatives to improve standards had turned around more than 700 failing schools, and public examinations and national test results had shown consistent rises, the union said.

But it pointed out that many attempts to include the private sector had not been a success. Education action zones had not attracted the private sponsorship needed and many privatised education services had resulted in escalating costs for schools.


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