Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to the announcement that minimum services levels will be introduced in schools and colleges.
“At a time when there are major staff shortages in education, schools have been given incorrect budget information and buildings are literally crumbling, it is hugely disappointing that the Secretary of State has decided to pick a fight with those who represent the profession. This is nothing more than an attempt to distract from her department’s own shortcomings.
“We understand the Secretary of State is seeking voluntary agreement to minimum service levels in the first instance, but it is unimaginable that there will any agreement over legislation that involves removing the basic rights of employees. Industrial action is only ever taken as a last resort, when all other options have been explored. By attempting to remove the right to strike instead of engaging with the profession and seeking to address their concerns, the Secretary of State demonstrates that her priorities are in completely the wrong place. Parents and especially young people deserve a Secretary of State who focuses on improving education rather than engaging in political stunts.”