Home Business News Teaching unions slam Williamson remarks which ‘are a kick in the teeth for teachers’ who are ‘leaving classrooms in their droves’

Teaching unions slam Williamson remarks which ‘are a kick in the teeth for teachers’ who are ‘leaving classrooms in their droves’

by LLB political Reporter
2nd Mar 23 1:38 pm

Teaching unions have slammed Sir Gavin Williamson for his comments that when he was the Education Secretary during the pandemic that he appeared to say that staff were looking for an “excuse” to not work.

The latest set of leaked WhatsApp messages from Matt Hancock which was published by the Daily Telegraph shows the then Health Secretary and Williamson hitting out at teaching unions.

Hancock messaged Williamson on 1 October 2020 to congratulate his over his decision to delay the A-level exams.

Hancock wrote, “Cracking announcement today. What a bunch of absolute arses the teaching unions are.”

Williamson responded, “I know they really really do just hate work.”

Hancock was then asked for help in securing personal protective equipment (PPE) for schools by Williamson so by not having a lack of protection cannot be used as a “reason not to open.”

He added, “All of them will but some will just want to say they can’t so they have an excuse to avoid having to teach, what joys!!!”

Williamson wrote on Twitter after the Daily Telegraph’s reports, “Further to reports in the Telegraph and other outlets, I wish to clarify that these messages were about some Unions and not teachers.

“As demonstrated in the exchange, I was responding regarding Unions. I have the utmost respect for teachers who work tirelessly to support students.

“During the pandemic, teachers went above and beyond during very challenging times and very much continue to do so.”

However, the Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson said Hancock’s comments and Williamson’s “are a kick in the teeth for teachers who stretched every sinew for children during the pandemic.

“They add insult to injury at a time when fewer people are joining the profession and when teachers are leaving classrooms in their droves.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders union told BBC Breakfast, “It’s contemptible because we have to remind ourselves that this was an age of extraordinary anxiety.

“We hadn’t got vaccines.

“As somebody who’s worked in education for all these years, who wants the brightest and the best young people to want to become politicians, that is less likely this morning because of that sneering denigration of the teaching profession.”

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