Gone But Not Forgotten
- Jun 27, 2015
- Reaction score
No not a joke as such. I rather dislike the infusion of politics (i.e. the political views of teachers) being infused into classrooms and have had occasion to complain to my local school when a teacher standing for local council election was essentially campaigning to her classes.I'm not sure if this was meant as a joke, but sadly there is evidence this is already happening. A number of reports during the election campaign that teachers had indeed been pushing a political agenda on their students and had in some cases written to parents to advise them to consider education funding when deciding how to vote. And in one polling station in Hackney, police had to be called as teachers had decorated the place with children's drawings... which, curiously for primary school kids, seemed to consist largely of hammers and sickles and other socialist imagery.
Schools have a statutory duty to display political neutrality but this clearly isn't happening in all cases. The lack of diversity of opinion in the teaching profession is a major factor here.
My point is that such a letter will not be viewed in the way is which it is intended. Political (small 'p') people do not respond to real issues per se, only what they consider to be the political strategy behind the message. That's how political people think, it generally doesn't occur to them to believe anyone else thinks differently.
They won't read this letter as a plea to fund an education system that's in trouble, or even believe that the education system is in trouble, but rather as a ploy to increase head-teachers' political position or power.
My comment was aimed (slightly tongue in cheek) at the suggestion that to sway a politician you need to offer them what they want or take away something they want. That is: votes or popularity.
As for teachers' less than diverse political views: for some reason a lot of academics of all hues seem to veer to the left. I'm not sure why that is myself, whether it's an individual trait thing, or it a lack of professional experience outside of academe, but it's well documented.
I thought the idea of recruiting teachers from industry was a good one, but I think they introduced a 'fast track' which would almost certainly trip the scheme up, it's the kind of division which probably will (and might even be designed to) cause resentment between 'established' and 'fast-track' staff.