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Open letter from an angry mother to the striking teachers

Dear Striking Teachers,

I am afraid I am unable to support you in your industrial action. I don’t believe that our children’s education should be affected by your decision to take strike action because of a dispute over pay.

What is wrong with performance related pay? There should be no reason to resist it, unless you’re not performing – in which case, should you really be responsible for the education of our children? And how about pensions – why you are disputing your pensions is beyond me as you are ranked as number 7 in the UK for pension provision!

I would like to point out that we have just come through a recession. You ought to be glad of a job – especially one that has still given you a pay rise, long holidays, and a pension at the end of it! There are a lot of people out there who would chew their right arm off to have what you do. So much for “We’re all in it together”.

Furthermore, as parents our incomes are severely affected by this strike. If you cannot adequately staff schools then it is only fair that you pay us the fine you recently informed us that we would have to pay for any unauthorized absences – £60 wasn’t it?

I wonder if any effort has gone into finding supply teachers for the day? I know that there are a lot of teachers not participating in the strike – they either don’t agree with it or they belong to a different union, either way I’m sure there are a lot of supply teachers willing to pick up a days pay.

Finally, how is it setting a good example to our children that those responsible for educating them decide that the benefits from their job are more important than showing up to do their job? I strongly disagree with striking – it never causes problems or hurts those being targeted. What problem is this going to cause the government? Our poor children are the only ones who will suffer, and all this teaches them is this: if you don’t like your job for any reason, throw your toys out of your pram and go on strike! That is not the answer, the answer is quite simple: If you don’t like your current job, you could always try another one. Someone needs to put their pride aside and end this unnecessary conflict, for the sake of our children.

You ought to be ashamed of yourselves!


Leanne Barnes is an account manager, and mother to her five-year-old son. Being a mother has inspired her to become involved in politics, as she wants Britain to be Great again – for her son’s sake. She tweets at @politichick_RW


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8 Comments on Open letter from an angry mother to the striking teachers

  1. Marty Caine UKIP // October 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm //

    The problem with performance related pay for teachers as far as I am concerned is it will only end up in the largest classes in the school being the special needs because the teachers will not want to spend the time and effort on the not so bright child or troublesome one, that might affect their pay packet. Teachers pay should be set on that teachers qualifications and if the Government wants to improve teaching standards they only need to create a higher standard of teacher by introducing higher qualifications to increase pay standards not a competition scenario like they are trying to do now.

  2. Making teachers compete with each other for a slice of the schools’s budget will only discourage them from co-operating with each other (you’d think twice about lending you lesson plan to a colleague if it might mean they got a pay rise at the expense of yours wouldn’t you?). Gove has already gone a good way to destroying good feeling in our schools. His recent announcement barring pupils from taking exams early and bringing it into effect *straight away* has completely screwed up the plans of many pupils and teachers for this year and next. A teacher’s job is hard enough without this.

    Education is so incredibly important to the future of our country that we need to be very careful how we treat it. Making teachers compete cannot possibly improve a schools culture. If we do not value our teachers the profession will become less and less attractive to new talent… and I personally want my child’s teachers to be the best of the best. Bankers, shareholders, politicians are worth nothing compared to a teacher, and all of them are paid much, much more.

    Not many people are capable of doing the job a teacher does. Perhaps mother of one, you should try before you slate them for disrupting a single one of your days.

    Teachers have our future in their classrooms. We devalue them at our peril.

    • UKIP calls itself a libertarian party. Yet when a group of people use the liberty to withdraw their labour, it doesn’t take long for the true blue swords to get drawn. It seems the authorities have managed to convince themselves that teachers are getting a fair deal, but not a group of people a lot of whom have degrees I.e. the teachers. Let’s pay politicians by results. Or Fred Goodwin. Let’s also march smartly up to the door of a teacher and ask for their vote come election time and say how much we value them. UKIP has a regular habit of slating public sector workers and wondering why it comes second or third.
      The day it starts trying to understand, will be the day it may get a chance to make this country a nicer place.
      We dragged a few business men out in the fire service. Saved their factories too. And I’ll bet the lady complaining and UKIP know as much about the present fire service dispute as they do about the teacher’s problems.
      UKIP member number 135224.
      Pete Osborne

  3. I cannot believe the gall of the teaching unions in this. Those of us in the private sector have suffered a shrinking jobs market, often lower pay, while those in the public sector live on with protected jobs, some pay rises and wonderful state-backed pensions.

    The world is upside-down. It is the private sector that generates the wealth we could all enjoy, while the public sector is effectively an overhead that should be delivered as cost-effectively as possible. Regrettably, the politicians we have “enjoyed” for the last 20 years have lost the plot on this.

    Time for some realpolitik and common sense

    • Spoken like someone who sends his kids to public school! You must, or how can the debase the education of our children by prioritising it as a costly overhead? Is cost really the overriding factor in education… does quality not get a look in in your world at all?

      A teacher’s grade 1 pay is £21.5k, even on the top grade, grade 6, which will take a teachers years to achieve the max is £31.5k

      The basic salary of British MP is £66,396 plus lots of benefits and expenses

      Now, I know which worker I value more and which works harder.

      Whilst mouthing platitudes about abolishing Europe your UKIP MEPS are taking full advantage of the following gravy train:

      £80,000 salary, £150,000 expense account, secretary, team of assistants, constituency office, first-class travel, immunity from prosecution, Brussels blowouts, ludicrous pension and loads of other benefits.

      Shame on you.

      • I DID NOT send my children to public school, I could never afford it, and I was fortunate with having a very good Comprehensive near where they were taught by dedicated teachers. I cannot actually recall them going on strike in the Secondary School.

        Do not take my comment about public sector spending being an overhead as being personal about teachers, it is a comment on the entire public sector in general. If we look at the UK as UK plc, the public sector is indeed an overhead, albeit many of the services the government provides are essential (eg Defence, Health and Schooling), but they are still overheads when provided by the state, and one has to keep overhead costs down to reduce the burden on the directly productive part of the economy.

        One of the key determinants in pay levels is what level of pay do you need to attract an appropriately skilled and experienced to it. The acid test is “can one get enough applicants to fill the posts at that price?”. Tell me, does the teaching profession have large problems with recruiting, if so, then perhaps higher pay would be justified.

        I will not be drawn on MP and MEP salaries and allowances,but they are the same for MPs and MEPs of all parties. Take your grievance there to the Prime Minister and the President of Europe.

        • I’m sure you’ll forgive me for thinking you were saying that the quality of state education was immaterial and cost the main priority when you wrote in a reply to the woman slating the teaching profession: “the public sector is effectively an overhead that should be delivered as cost-effectively as possible.”

          But I’m afraid you have further demonstrated your lack of understanding that providing a good education for our children is crucial for future of our country when you state in your reply: ‘The acid test is “can one get enough applicants to fill the posts at that price?””

          For a would-be politician to think of education in this way is worrying. Actually it’s more than that, it’s frightening.

          If you use this as your litmus test for employing teachers then you’ll pay peanuts, get monkeys and turn our children into chimps.

          Very little future for the UK then.

          • Once again, you misquote me.

            I said “appropriately skilled and experienced”. That does not mean someone who has inadequate qualifications, who cannot prove good experience, who does not demonstrate their skills adequately under test and/or interview. Notice I have not actually criticized the quality of teaching, and nor have you, so at the present rate of pay, we are clearly getting sufficient teachers of sufficient quality and experience.

            And the commercial apply the same test – chimps are only any good for jobs where the Job Spec IS eating peanuts. If you want a skilled, let’s say, Java Computer Software Programmer, or a Roofer Felter, they have to show the right skills and experience too, and you cannot buy them for peanuts!

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