Some years ago, Chris Keates—or, rather, what I wrote about her (this is an edited version)—got me into some trouble with Andrew "Brillo Pad" Neill.
The essence of my point—crudely made but, I think, getting the point across—was that her defence of her union members was actually destroying (or "fucking") the life chances of the children that her members pretend to teach.
Your humble Devil has discussed (and, yes, caveats acknowledged) just how well the Free Schools and Academies are going in educating children—usually in very poor areas (such as those in which I live).
Despite these results—via Prodicus—it is hardly surprising that Chris Keates is now attacking the Academies (and other state independent schools) on behalf of her members (I use that word in a number of different senses).
But the NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates attacked his education policy as being motivated by "ideological fervour".
She said the coalition government's education plans were "driven more by the desire to create a free market and lining the pockets of business than ensuring that all children have the highest standards of education".
Who gives a fuck who delivers education, as long as it is the best possible education that we, as a society, can afford to give these children? Because—and I've said this a million times—if you give a child a good education, they have the tools to succeed in life. True, this isn't always enough—but if you fuck up children's education, then you almost always fuck up their lives.
The teachers' union also announced that it would be holding a strike ballot of members between 4 to 17 November - under the campaign of Standing up for Standards.
"Standing up for Standards?" What kind of standards? Oh, yes, these kinds of standards...
Government-funded research claims 20% of 16- to 19-year-olds lack basic skills
Around a fifth of pupils leave school functionally illiterate and functionally innumerate, despite average achievement in the three Rs improving over the past decade, a new Government-funded study has found.
Teaching union the NUT said the study, funded by the Government’s Skills for Life strategy unit, confirmed the “long tail of underachievement” already highlighted by the Pisa international comparative study.
The Sheffield report—The levels of attainment in literacy and numeracy of 13- to 19-year-olds in England, 1948-2009—says the latest evidence shows that 22 per cent of 16– to 19–year-olds are functionally innumerate. Professor Greg Brooks, one of the study’s authors, said this had remained at around the same level for at least 20 years.
His report says this means people have “very basic competence in maths, mainly limited to arithmetical computations and some ability to comprehend and use other forms of mathematical information”.
“While this is valuable, it is clearly not enough to deal confidently with many of the mathematical challenges of contemporary life,” the report adds.
Levels of functional innumeracy are higher still among older age groups and even the 22 per cent is “higher than in many other industrialised countries”.
Ah, those kinds of standards.
Look, teachers: I can understand why you might support truly evil people like Chris Keates—because she gets you pay rises, and pensions and all those other perks.
But don't you ever—EVER—try to tell us that you have the kiddies' interests at heart. You don't.
You and your unions—led by Chris Keates and her highly paid colleagues—are interested only in what you can get for yourselves, and screw the kids that you are supposed to teach.
But what makes the whole situation truly unforgivable is that you are willing to destroy the life chances of many thousands of pupils because your pension is more important than the jobs, and the children, that you profess to care about.
Y'know, it's the hypocrisy and cant that I cannot stand.
Seriously, teachers, you are almost as bad as doctors.
And Chris Keates is just about as bad as you can get...