The state of the education system in England continues to worsen. A series of strikes by teachers will do nothing to alleviate the overcrowded classrooms and mediocre teaching that is the norm today.
Reports about the state of the system are a daily occurrence and ideas such as part-time schooling and combining classroom and home schooling are being floated to try and paper over the huge cracks that are appearing on an almost daily basis.
Teachers in England are to stage a series of strikes in a continuing row over pay, pensions and workload, unions have announced.
The industrial action will start in the summer term, the two largest teaching unions, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and NASUWT have said.
The unions have been taking action short of strike action for many months.
In a joint statement they said they would escalate this with a series of localised strikes starting in June.
This follows on from the news last week that 1/4 of a million extra school places will be needed in England, that’s ENGLAND not the UK as a whole.
The spending watchdog said one in five primary schools in England was full or near capacity and there were signs of “real strain” on places.
The demand for places has been driven by the birth rate rising more quickly than at any time since the 1950s.
Ministers say 80,000 extra places have been created and demand will be met.
Schools Minister David Laws said the government was “reversing completely idiotic policies” followed under Labour that had seen 200,000 school places cut.
Labour has denied the claim and accuses the coalition of creating a “crisis”. The truth is the crisis has been coming for many years and none of the political parties has bothered to do anything about it.
The NAO’s report said that despite the creation of those 80,000 extra places in the past two years and an overall surplus of places nationwide, the system was under strain and that, until last year, vague data meant the government was unable to identify “hotspots” easily.
In total, 256,000 new school places are needed by 2014-15 – 240,000 in primary schools, it said.
London has the greatest need, accounting for 37% of the extra primary places required, according to the NAO. But there are pressure points in Leeds, Manchester, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Derby, Hampshire and other areas too.
Schools across the capital have been expanding by adding extra classes or new buildings, but the NAO said it remained unclear how many places would be needed in the next few years.
In 2012, the Department for Education said 400,000 further places could be required by 2018-19 and it has said it is spending £5bn providing extra school places over the lifetime of this Parliament.
Those people who can’t afford the incredibly high fees to send their children to private schools are desperate. Many schools in the UK have been officially recognised as failing. Parents who have tried to homeschool their kids have been met with hostility and contempt by the government. Constant interference, unannounced visits and in some cases out and out harassment means the numbers of kids home schooled in the UK are very low.
It looks like the government may have to review their attitude in the near future.
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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!