Teaching union warns against the danger of profit making schools

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The Association of Teaching and Learning's new president Hank Roberts has spoken out against Education Secretary Michael Gove's plans for schools to be run for profit.

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Hank Roberts, who took over as president of the Association of Teaching and Learning on 1 September, has said that the Education Secretary’s plans to run schools for profit and to ‘end state education as we know it must be resisted'.

His warning comes as the first free school being run for profit opens this month as the new school term begins.

The ATL’s new president has been campaigning against the privatisation of the management of schools since academies were introduced. His opposition has increased under the coalition government with Mr Gove’s intention to turn all schools into academies and free schools by force if necessary.

‘I warned of the danger of global businesses taking over our schools and running for them for profit in 2001. This September sees the opening of the first free school being run for profit as part of Michael Gove’s plans to privatise the whole of state education and open it up for companies to make a profit from our schools. Allowing unqualified teachers from October to teach in academies as well as free schools is part of this plan.’

He added, ‘Everyone needs to wake up to the threat our whole education system is under before it is too late. Many people realise that the government is privatising the NHS, but opposition to academies and free schools, while growing, is still not as universal as it should and must be.

‘If the Government resorts to unjust laws parents, teachers and governors will have to consider what actions they can take.’

Mr Roberts has also said that he believes most government initiatives are not trialled before they are introduced.

He is now calling for other teaching unions, professional bodies and universities to join together to form a united campaign to demand proper scientific and reliable evidence before education initiatives are implemented.

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