Letter: NUT strike has nothing to do with children’s education

This reader from Reading believes that if a child must attend school, then the teachers must also attend in order to teach them. They’re also not happy about teachers dressing “as if they are going to a barbeque in a friends back yard”.

nut education cuts

We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below. This from Pip Neal, Reading. Ed

Recently in relation to the Jon Platt issue the courts ruled that a child must attend school during term time, unless they are ill or have the express permission of the head teacher.

The NUT has just voted to strike, which, of course, will be illegal. If a child must attend school then the teachers must also attend in order to teach them.

Nothing to do with children’s educationMembers of the NUT are just striking to improve their own situation, it has nothing to do with the child’s education.

2+2=4 regardless of how much a teacher gets paid or what hours the teachers work.

Wear suits and ties
When I went to school, all the teachers wore suits and ties; and they were all respected.

Nowadays teachers dress as if they are going to a Sunday barbeque in a friend’s back yard.

This says a great deal about all the respect teachers no longer get.

Teach the children!

Image: dlr777 under CC BY 2.0

Monday, 17th April, 2017 1:55pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2fdf

Filed under: Education, Island-wide, Letter to the Editor

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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27 Comments on "Letter: NUT strike has nothing to do with children’s education"

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Did a letter from the Daily Mail’s “Frothing Plonkers Too Mad Even For Us To Publish” section get lost on the internet and find its way to OnTheWight, somehow?

You should check your software – I think you’ve been hacked.

Mrs Retired Hack

At least one up Arrow for Mr Critchley for actually making me laugh out loud!

Billy b
Yes Mrs R H I quite agree. This letter has absolutley no reference to the soon to be forgotten Platt case (well once the Magistrates have finally dealt with him). Teachers do not obtain respect from their dress code now or when I went to school (1950s – 1960s). They either have it or not.” I recall bad teachers at Cowes Sec Mod and many very good.… Read more »
No, IW teaching staff cannot be faulted, no matter what they wear. However: On the Isle of Wight, there are excellent teachers, good teachers, average teachers, poor teachers and atrocious teachers. There are excellent teachers who dress like are going to a family barbecue, and atrocious teachers who dress in suit and tie. I have written letters of heartfelt thanks to teachers who went that extra mile.… Read more »

Well said.

The Ancient Matelot
I agree. This has as much to do with doing the right thing for children as the Platt case. Teachers should not have their classes disrupted by children being away during term time and having to take extra time (sometimes their own time) to help the children catch up. Likewise, the children should expect to be able to attend school and not have their schooling disrupted by… Read more »
Strikes are a last resort when the employer won’t listen. A lot of the groups you are talking about are well educated people who see what the reality of day to day what is happening to your children’s education. they are not publicly allowed to comment on what is happening. You have to ask why these groups of qualified people Doctor’s,Nurses,Teachers,and legal professionals have gone on strike… Read more »
retired hack
Coiuld this by any chance be the same Pip Neal, of Reading, who in 2006 caused great excitement in area after spotting a mysterious green ball in the sky over Southcote, a suburb of the Berkshire town? He would, in fact, appear to be an afficioanado of such matters (as well, of course, as industrial relations law). As a news report at the tine noted: “It’s not… Read more »
Barry Groves
I am sorry but teachers can’t have it both ways. In the Platt case they stated EVERY day is important in a child’s education so why do they say it is oK to strike and take Inset days. With 13 weeks holiday why not show children the importance of arrending by giving up a day’s pay but still showing up for work instead of striking and taking… Read more »
Mr Groves Maybe don’t generalise so much. It was Government ministers, not teachers, who passed the law designed to address severe non-attendance without paying due attention to the consequences for cases like Mr Platt’s. Likewise, it was the Isle of Wight Council, not teachers, which chose to pursue this prosecution. I was a teacher for 11 years, and I think the law is deeply unhelpful. I’m not… Read more »
Barry Groves, As has been explained (countless times) on almost every thread going regarding school absence Inset days are not taken in teaching time. Back when they were introduced by the then Minister for Education (Kenneth Baker – Tory) the 5 days were taken out of school teachers holidays not out of the schools. The reason they are not all taken at once (at the start or… Read more »
This has been my experience, too. By and large, teachers do not support the current term-time holiday rules because they actually make their lives more difficult. Because, except in extreme circumstances, the answer to any request for a term-time absence will now always be “no”, many parents no longer bother to even discuss the issue with the school and the first thing the teacher knows about it… Read more »
Speaking as someone who is just about to finish teacher training and has been working in school, maybe I can go through a few points. > The NUT has just voted to strike, which, of course, will be illegal. No I don’t think it is if they meet the criteria. > If a child must attend school then the teachers must also attend in order to teach… Read more »
Philip Hawkins

ok, now it could just be the curse of predictive text, but . . .

“No ok your right but that is because the NUT are their to represent teachers not children.”

How about :-

“No ok YOU’RE right but that is because the NUT are THERE to represent teachers not children.”

I do hope you are not training to teach English?

Billy b


Are you seriously telling us that you are becoming a member of teaching staff at a school on our IOW? I hopefully think not.

Our present teachers have no need to supplement their numbers with such a talentless pretender!


Billy b… No need. I have every respect for anyone joining teaching. Nbelfitt has been through training and come out the other side. They clearly don’t have the best English skills, or autocorrect is having fun, but they have the guts to do something that you have not done and to try and make a difference. There is absolutely no need to mock them.

mark francis wdp

how about spelling “barbecue” with a “c” ?

Teachers do not go to school – they go to work. As employees, they have all the rights of employees, including the right to strike if needed as with any other profession. Teachers are not subject to the Education Act. They are not required to be in full time education – they have a job. They are also required to follow a dress code as in any… Read more »
Billy b

Yes madness. If you are a teacher then you have our support totally (I am not of that very worthy profession ) and if you are not, then our teachers deserve our full support. As do our Doctors, nurses, health workers, law enforcers, prison officers, social workers, armed forces etc.. Our politicians are taking advantage of our dedicated workers!

The 1950s called....

…they want their letter back


They can have it.

Karl Love
Teachers don’t like striking. It’s the very last thing any teacher wants for the pupil, the school and themselves. Governent meddling in education is destructive with constant changes being made that produces growing amounts of paperwork. Much of this paper work is largely irrelevant to the direct education of young people and is for governmental gratification and then used to spin political massages . Regrettably It’s sometimes… Read more »
Music teacher

I am a music teacher. The IOW council axed the Music Service in 2015. I do not now teach on the IOW. They took away my job and income and left 127 children without an instrumental teacher. This with all the research showing how essential music is to a developing young person.


This is nonsense, teachers are legally entitled to go on strike. A freedom hard won in previous generations but one that right wing extremists would like to take away. For daring to strike the Tolpuddle Martyrs were transported to Australia when it was a penal colony,is our mainland letter writer advocating a return to such times.

Robert Jones
I had missed this thread entirely when it was current, but it was a pleasure just now to read Julian Critchley’s responses to it – and the others of course, but the Critchley contribution made me snort in my tea. Very good. A silly letter, wrong on just about every front, but it has given rise to much entertainment. Oh and by the way, typos apart, no… Read more »

Schools on the Island are bad because (a) too many parents don’t give a monkeys and (b) too many of the teachers are bad at their jobs.


Given teachers work 37, sorry 39. weeks a year unlike the poor saps like us in the private sector who work 46 weeks and take up to £100K pa https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-and-salary/teacher-salaries they get a sweet deal. They work less and get to retire earlier if they choose. https://1stcharteredfp.co.uk/teachers-retiring-early-numbers/
The sweetest thing for them is very few of them get sacked for incompetence: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2080087/Just-17-teachers-struck-incompetence-10-years.html