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Brewing crisis in education can only be solved if Gillian Keegan reopens talks with unions

Gillian Keegan

Brewing crisis in education can only be solved if Gillian Keegan reopens talks with unions

The General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, has warned that the brewing crisis in schools and colleges can only be solved if the Secretary of State for Education reopens talks with unions and resolves the pay dispute.

Addressing members of ASCL, NAHT, NEU, NGA, UNISON at a joint lobby of parliament today (Tuesday 20 June), ASCL General Secretary Geoff Barton also called for Gillian Keegan to immediately publish the STRB’s report and to ensure that education is adequately funded.

He said: “The reason we are here is because we know there is an extraordinary brewing crisis in our schools and our colleges. We are here because of a crisis of being able to recruit, and retain and to fund. This is an issue that will not go away. It will only be resolved by talking. The longer you leave that, the more attitudes are going to harden, the more parents are going to notice that somebody who is called the Secretary of State for Education appears not to give sufficient attention to education.

“We need to adequately fund education. We have to see education as an investment. Whether young people are learning skills, whether they are learning knowledge, all of these things matter and any nation that is serious about education would have it at the heart of its mission. We have to invest in young people. We are here because education matters, because we want to save our schools and because we are hurtling towards an autumn term where there is going to be unrest in our classrooms unless the secretary of state talks.

“We are also hurtling towards a general election. As soon as parents start to hear more clearly that the only people who appear to be standing up on behalf of education are we the profession, they are going to look to the government and say: ‘It’s simply not good enough. You have let us down and in particular you have betrayed some of the most vulnerable young people by not investing.'”

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