"Have teaching unions had their day? Should they be replaced by completely new bodies representing the profession and its aspirations as they are today?"
"Many believe that the status of teaching is being damaged, not helped, by the way unions behave. Unable or unwilling to secure influence through conventional channels, they resort, with a couple of honourable exceptions, to wild rants at their annual conferences and withdrawing their labour, which is an admission of defeat. There are many like me who believe that unions played an important and necessary part in the 20th century but have lost their way this century.
"Above all, they seem to have forgotten the interests of the very people who brought teachers into the profession in the first place: children. In my book, any union that doesn’t put the rights of pupils on at least an equal level with that of teachers has no moral authority."
Clearly his criticism of militancy and strike action is not aimed at Voice, as members of our union do not take industrial action, while others favour such tactics. If the cap of "honourable exceptions" fits, we will wear it!
The need for the progressive model of trade unionism that Dr Seldon describes, makes Voice relevant to the modern world.
Dr Seldon comments that the unions:
"ought to be central to these debates, offering the thoughtful voice of the profession".
It isn't just the unions that the Government so often fails to listen to. It ignored many of the UK's leading experts in the teaching of reading when they expressed their concerns about the Government's reading test for six year-olds.
You only have to take a look at the work of Voice's volunteers, our contributions to to education policy and the many debates on this blog on issues such as phonics and standards to see that Voice certainly fits the description of "thoughtful voice of the profession".