Fight against forced academisation ‘madness’ can be won, says union leader

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) could take industrial action to challenge the government’s plans to turn all schools into academies

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the ATL teaching union, believes the “fight” against all-out academisation can be won.

In a speech to delegates at the ATL annual conference, Dr Bousted condemned the government’s plans, claiming the plans to turn all schools into academies were about “breaking the public service ethos of teachers and school leaders” – rather than education standards.

At the conference in Liverpool this morning, she said: “Never has the time been more right for a coordinated response from all education unions to the attack we are facing.

“Alone we can do something. Together, we can do great things. We must fight together to protect our profession, for the sake of the children and young people whose education depends on us.

“And we will fight and if we fight together, with parents and councillors, with other unions, with politicians, with governors, with the whole of civil society which opposes the madness of forced academisation, then we will win.”

This afternoon, the ATL will vote to consider industrial action against the government’s plan to make all schools academies in England.

Delegates will debate an emergency motion calling for opposition to the recently published education white paper at their annual conference in Liverpool this afternoon.

The motion condemns the government plans as an “attack on democracy” and an “attack on the teaching profession”.

Members will vote to decide whether they will work with other unions “to defend the public service ethos of the profession” and oppose forced academisation.

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