Hunger, Lack of Clothes and Shoes. Teachers Lift the Lid on Child Poverty

NASUWT says schools and teachers are being left to pick up the pieces of Tory’s “scandalous” economic policies

NASUWT

Teachers have attacked the government’s record on child poverty, saying they have witnessed at first hand the effect on the children they teach.

Speaking ahead of the release of the latest official figures on child poverty released today, NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “If, as expected, the figures show that child poverty levels have risen yet again, this is a shameful indictment of the economic and social policies of the Coalition Government.

“It is equally shameful that the government is committed to continuing the policies which have led to this anticipated rise.

“Teachers are witnessing firsthand the impact of poverty on the children they teach. Three-quarters of teachers recently surveyed by the NASUWT say they have witnessed more and more children coming to school too hungry to concentrate and without clothing and footwear appropriate to the weather conditions.

“Children are increasingly being denied educational opportunities because of their parents’ inability to pay for educational visits.

“Evidence shows that too many young people are choosing subject options on the basis, not of their skills and aspirations, but on the basis of whether their parents can afford the books, equipment and other resources a particular course demands.

“Schools and teachers are being left to pick up the pieces. The shattering of children’s life chances cannot simply be regarded as collateral damage.

“Yet scandalously, rather than embarking on a strategy to tackle poverty and inequality, it now appears the government plans to change the definition of child poverty in an attempt to mask the terrible toll its policies are taking on our children and young people. Our children and young people deserve better.”

Reproduced by Commons Creative Licence , previously published by Union Solidarity International

We’re all ROARing for Teachers and Education #teacherROAR #GoveMUSTGo

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ROARING for Teachers on Eve of the strike 

Join Teacher ROAR in sharing this message together at the same time – automatically. Thunderclap Link here.

 It is planned  for 9pm on 16th October, the eve of the teachers’ strike. Please add your name *now* by clicking on that link. Then it  will tweet automatically from your account.

“I’m ROARing my support for teachers, striking tomorrow for a better education system! #GoveMUSTgo #teacherROARhttp://thndr.it/1gr9896

 GOVE Must Go!  Please support the teacher’s strike.

Because Teachers are standing up for teachers’ rights and for education.

On 17 October teachers from the NUT and the NASUWT will take strike action in the North East, Cumbria, London, South East and South West. Michael Gove will try to say that parents and the general public don’t support the teachers, and will attempt to pit private sector worker against public. We want to use the power of the Thunderclap to prove him wrong. Help us do that by signing up and ROARing you support for teachers on the eve of the strike.
Here’s why everyone who cares about education and workers’ rights should support the strike. See: Reasons to support the Teachers’ Strike #TeacherROAR

ROARing support for teachers!

Reasons to support the teachers’ strike #teacherROAR

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Why should you support the teachers’ strike.

Please take your time to consider why teachers in England are taking industrial action on 1st October and again on 17th October.  Teachers have not taken this decision lightly – morale in the profession is at an all-time low. They have witnessed a destructive onslaught and systematic demolition of the education system, breaking up of local education authorities, forced academisation, attacks on pensions, removal of national pay-scales, increased workloads,  perpetual interference  of examination structures and the curriculum which are detrimental to education. Teachers are speaking out against the policies from the Coalition government which have damaged their livelihoods, and the lives of the children  they teach. This is a time for solidarity. Please support the strike. (Twitter hashtag is #teacherRoar)

The article reproduced below was published on “Teacher ROAR” blog, and comprehensively explains why the decision taken to strike is understandable, justifiable, and commendable) Now is not the time to attack those who are speaking out, but those in government who have caused such wilful destruction, for political and ideological purposes.

REASONS TO SUPPORT THE TEACHERS STRIKES, OCTOBER 2013

Tomorrow teachers in some regions of England will go on strike. This is the second in a series of proposed strikes by two teaching unions, the NUT and the NASUWT, who between them represent over 90% of serving teachers.

That they are striking together is significant. Historically the two unions have been rivals and relationships between them have often been fractious. What has caused them to put their decades of differences aside and work together? It can be summed up in one word:

 Gove.”

This can’t be said often enough. Striking is a last resort. No one wants to go on strike. Teachers lose a day’s pay, and know that they will be accused of wanting the day off, of being lazy, of not caring about kids, or deliberately inconveniencing parents. Striking is something you only do when you have explored all other avenues and found them blocked off.But Gove has united teachers in a feeling that a stand has to be made and, since he won’t sit down and negotiate with the unions, we are taking strike action.So what’s it all about? Well, where do we start? First of all Gove has announced that he wants teachers to work longer, pay more and get less for their pension than they agreed when they started the job.So what, I hear you say. People are living longer, it’s a time of austerity and the country can’t afford to pay out for your “gold-plated” pensions. Them’s the breaks, right?

No. For a start our pension scheme has had £43 billion more paid into it than has ever been taken out. Let me repeat that. FORTY. THREE. BILLION. POUNDS. more has gone into our pension pot, paid for by serving teachers, than has ever been taken out by retired teachers. Our pension doesn’t need any input from the taxpayer to make it affordable for years to come, it’s fine as it is.
The increased pension contributions that Gove has demanded we pay combined with the pay freeze over the past few years means that, by April next year teachers will have had a 15% pay cut in real terms since 2010. That’s a FIFTEEN PERCENT paycut. We simply can’t sustain such an attack on our wages.

And teaching is a physical job. Carrying heavy boxes of books around a school, standing all day, crouching down next to desks to offer help, standing on desks to pin up displays, intervening in physical altercations – these are all a daily part of teachers lives. Keeping 30 children focused and on task for the best part of six hours a day takes enthusiasm and energy. It’s mentally and physically demanding and while most teachers say they will struggle to make it to 65, Gove is now insisting they go on until 68.  The cynical might say that, of course, he knows that’s simply impossible and means that many teachers will be forced to take early retirement, thereby losing many thousands of pounds from a pension that they have worked hard for for years, often decades.

Workload is another issue.  While Gove would like to maintain that teachers waltz in at 9, leave at 3, and sun themselves on beaches for six weeks in the summer the reality is very different.Any teacher will tell you that a typical day starts nearer to seven, doesn’t finish until well after 6, that breaks during the day are non-existent and that weekends and holidays are taken up with marking and planning. And that’s for more experienced teachers. These days tales of newly qualified teachers being at school until nine or ten at night and then going in again on the weekend are not uncommon. Which is why there is such a high burnout rate in teaching. And Gove wants us to do more. While most teachers need the holidays to keep on top of their workload, remind their family and friends what they look like, and physically and mentally recuperate, Gove says we should have shorter holidays and stay in school for longer so that we can have additional meetings and supervise after-school sessions. But all of this, the pay cut, the stolen pension, the increased workload, he might have got away with all of this were it not for his devastating onslaught on education.

Amongst other things he’s
·         Removed the Educational Maintenance allowance that allowed poorer students to stay on into further education
·         Done nothing to reduce the trebling of tuition fees
·         Narrowed the curriculum into something one academic has called neo-Victorian
·         Removed the need for schools to employ qualified teachers
·         Stopped the schools modernisation programme and diverted the money into free schools often in places where there is no need
·         Destroyed university based initial teacher training so they we are now facing a significant shortage of teachers in key subjects
·         Created a schools places crisis
·         Refused to listen to the advice of the profession
·         Refused to implement policies based on evidence and research
·         Constantly denigrated teachers
Teachers have had enough. They’ve had enough of the attacks on their pay, on their pensions and their working conditions. But most of all they’ve had enough of the attacks on education.
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It’s time to stand up for education.

It’s time to stand up for teachers.

Please support the strikes.