The government’s education minister, Michael Gove has just announced plans to make school holidays shorter and working days longer. His prized ARK academy chain already has a school day lasting from 8.30am until 4.30pm and summer holidays that are just 4 weeks long. Gove has even said half-terms ‘no longer make sense’. If he gets his way we’ll hardly have any decent breaks at all! We have to stop him.
The government wants schools that teach students to be compliant – schools that stifle imagination rather than foster it. They want schools that leave pupils well prepared. But not well prepared to learn, grow and develop throughout their lives. Well prepared to accept the drudgery of low paid, insecure jobs that are all young people are currently offered. GCSE reforms will see teaching return to a style used 50 years ago. Now he wants a school year that emulates those used in dictatorial regimes like China.
But students and teachers don’t have to take this lying down. We have to fight back. We should start with protests and rallies, and if the government won’t listen we can organise strikes and student walk-outs. If we are organised and united with our teachers and other workers, we can stop this vicious, out of touch government of the rich in their tracks.