8 April 2015
By Deborah Lawson, General Secretary
There is no doubt that the teaching profession, and education as a whole, have experienced what amounts to a tsunami of change during the current administration. The education and childcare workforce recognises the need for change. However, the pace of that change has been fast and short – too short to adequately test, develop, review, implement and realise its benefits. Far too often, the blame for failure has fallen on dedicated education and childcare professionals.
The motions debated by other unions at their conferences demonstrate the unions’ common ground. The difference is how Voice, through reasoned negotiation and engagement, not industrial action, seeks to achieve its priorities for the professionals it represents.
Commitment to meaningful engagement
It is essential that, whatever colour(s) make up the next administration, there is a commitment to consistent and meaningful engagement with education and childcare professionals, enabling them to contribute to change and, in doing so, reduce criticism directed at them. (See our election statement.) It is in this way that those who know can inform policy that will work.
Politics is an evil which is necessary to education. It should not, however, be its ruling force.
Whatever the make-up of the next administration, Voice looks forward to working positively with it.
Voice applauds the recognition that the planned curriculum changes in Wales will take time – time that exceeds the political cycle. It is to be hoped that politics can aid, and not hinder, such planned progress.
We would recommend a similar approach to other politicians and would celebrate any administration that is brave enough to lift education policy out of the political box and constraints that are currently limiting the profession and young people’s aspirations and achievements.
[Adapted from an article written for April/May 2015 Your Voice.]