Headlines: March 22nd, 2010

Three teaching unions are stepping up their opposition to proposals for regular check-ups to ensure staff are fit to teach. Resolutions to be debated at a series of conferences over Easter call for the plans, which are curently being debated, to be dropped.

A motion from the Executive of the National Union of Teachers calls for lobbying of all parliamentary parties and for a high-profile campaign against the proposed licensing of teachers. The union has already organised a campaign in which 25,000 teachers have sent postcards to the Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, setting out their opposition.

Meanwhile, a motion from members of the NASUWT calls for the union’s National Executive to oppose the proposals by all possible means. They say that should include industrial action if the proposals become law and have an adverse affect on teachers’ workloads and career progression. The union’s general secretary, Chris Keates, said teachers saw the proposals as being another stick to beat them with.

Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers from Brent and Bradford have also proposed a motion for their conference urging a campaign against the plans. The general secretary of the ATL, Dr Mary Bousted said the union was working to ensure that if the licence plan went ahead it would be closely linked to training and development.

Under the Government proposals the licence would be overseen by the General Teaching Council for England with headteachers deciding if a licence would be renewed. Teachers would have to show they had up to date skills and were effective in the classroom.