Commenting following the speech today (13/02/15) by Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“In the last two weeks we have heard from the leaders of the two major political parties on their plans for education post the General Election.

“In contrast to what the Prime Minister said last week, Ed Miliband’s remarks this morning will have strong resonance with many teachers and school leaders.

“Last week David Cameron promised ‘in Treasury speak flat cash per pupil’ which he was later forced admit publicly would be a further real-terms cut.

“Today Ed Miliband promised a rising education budget protected in real terms every year.

“Any government that is committed to high quality public education must recognise that investment in education has to be the key priority.

“On this issue alone there is a stark choice for the electorate in May.”


Commenting on the report published today by the Education Select Committee into PSHE and SRE in schools, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“The NASUWT recognises that the Select Committee is trying to address a difficult and contentious issue.

“However, there remain some key questions to be addressed.

“Who will determine what is age appropriate PSHE and SRE and what precisely should be taught?

“Will academies and free schools be required to implement such provision, given that they have freedom to determine their own curriculum?

“Who will provide the specialist support and training schools need to deliver this provision, given that local authorities and the NHS no longer have the specialist staff and resources to provide this support thanks to savage cuts to their budgets?

“If it is decided that an element of the curriculum should be statutory, then it is incongruous to retain the right of parental opt-out.

“Policymakers need to decide whether SRE is statutory and is treated as such in all schools, in which case parental opt-out cannot be retained.

“If curriculum freedom for academies and parental opt-out are to be retained then quite clearly PSHE and SRE are not statutory and no one should pretend otherwise.”