Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Teachers' Leader Slams Government 'Gradgrinds'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Teachers' Leader Slams Government 'Gradgrinds'

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Doughty Reporter

TEENAGERS are being steered in the direction of "low pay, zero-hours and dead-end jobs", a Tyneside teachers' leader has warned.

NASUWT president Graham Dawson, from Backworth, North Tyneside, told union members that government reforms were denying youngsters opportunities.

In his speech to delegates on the opening day of the NASUWT's annual conference in Cardiff, he claimed that young people's life chances had been narrowed.

He told the conference: "How dare any government, especially one largely privately educated, restrict the life chances of so many of our children by deliberately limiting their educational opportunities? How dare they charge PS9,000 a year for university tuition? "How many of you here would have taken that option? Can you afford to support your children to work as an unpaid intern, as many professional occupations demand? "How many of you have a young person in your circle of family and friends that cannot find employment commensurate with their talents, skills and qualifications? Or in many parts of the country, any job at all? "Instead of the education superhighway of opportunity, they are diverted on to the dirt track of low pay, zero hours and dead-end jobs."

Earlier in his speech, Mr Dawson, a special and additional needs teacher who works across the North East, had warned that schoolchildren are being denied access to a wide range of opportunities and subjects because schools are under pressure to focus on core academic subjects at the expense of others.

"It is a national disgrace that some schools are abandoning the arts, PE, music and other non-core subjects to concentrate on those subjects deemed acceptable by this government of Gradgrinds," he said.

"Yes, of course, we need our core subjects, but we also need our hearts and minds opened to a variety of educational opportunities. If our children and young people are denied this, we should be ashamed, for we will have not just let them down but our vocation as well. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.