NAHT delegates gave the Education Secretary a very rough ride, passing a no confidence motion in his policies and heckling him over the state of the education system.
The Education Secretary was greeted with the most hostile reception he has faced during his time in office from 500 headteachers at their annual conference, the BBC reports. Earlier the NAHT joined the three biggest teaching unions in formally opposing government policy, becoming the first heads’ union to pass a no confidence motion.
Mr. Gove appeared taken aback by the angry reception he received. Delegates told him that they were suffering stress caused by his policies, Sats tests and tough Ofsted inspections. They also criticised what they described as ‘forced academisation’. At one point, when he told his audience that: “I admire your candour but we are going to have to part company,” a heckler shouted: “Are you leaving, then?”
He admitted that he may not have communicated his vision of the education system well enough, but said that although he had been ‘chastened by criticism’ there would be no change of course: “What I have heard is repeated statements that the profession faces stress, and insufficient evidence about what can be done about it. What I haven’t heard over the last hour is a determination to be constructive, critical yes, but not constructive.”
One headteacher said colleagues felt they were living under a culture of ‘bullying and fear’ and Bernadette Hunter, NAHT president, commented: “Those of us within education – both leaders and learners – have never had it so bad.”
Are you pleased that headteachers are following teachers’ examples in criticising Michael Gove’s policies?