THE National Union of Teachers conference in Cardiff has highlighted some controversial topics.
Among them is the NUT’s call for a 10% pay rise for teachers. The union says high workloads and low salaries are forcing new teachers out of the profession.
There’s no denying that many teachers work hard in school and in their free time too.
But, with job security, plenty of holidays and a decent wage, there are many who would say teachers should count their blessings.
Also on the NUT agenda was the Government’s pilot scheme for privatising Pupil Referral Units which help children with behavioural problems, pregnant schoolgirls or youngsters with long-term absence get back on a stable path.
The NUT says privatising PRUs could move pupils further away from ‘mainstream’ education – the very thing these units are designed to eventually bring children back to.
On the one hand, privatisation could bring investment.
On the other, there is the fear that competition, costs and profit may become the private providers’ priority, rather than pupil welfare. How would they be monitored?
Whatever the final decision, it is to be hoped that it will be considered carefully as young people’s futures are at stake.