Commenting on a speech by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in which he set out Labour’s commitment to developing a National Education Service, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The NASUWT looks forward to continuing to engage constructively with the Labour Party on the development of its National Education Service.

“It is clear that the absence of any strategic direction for the education system under the current Government’s academisation programme is letting down children, young people and the hard working staff in our schools. We therefore welcome the Labour Party’s work to forge an alternative way forward for our education system.

“The NASUWT has identified the need for greater investment in and focus on professional development and learning opportunities for employees throughout their working lives. However, too many employers still fail to step up the plate.

“Ironically, the education service is one of the worst sectors in this regard. Teachers continually report to the NASUWT that they fail to get access to the training they need or to even engage their employers’ interest in the issue. The NASUWT has long called for a statutory entitlement for all teachers to high-quality ongoing training and development.

“In order to examine these issues comprehensively, the needs of those responsible for educating the next generation of working people must be given high priority in the Commission’s work.”


Commenting on the fine issued to a construction company after sub-contractors were exposed to asbestos while refurbishing Oakwood Junior School in Derby, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT- The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The NASUWT is deeply troubled to see that in yet another school, asbestos has been removed unsafely. While the prosecution and fine is welcome, this incident should not have happened in the first place.

“The NASUWT has stated consistently that the management of asbestos in situ is flawed, and all asbestos must be removed from all schools to prevent these cases occurring.

“If this work had been undertaken in term time, the outcome could have been much more serious, with potentially large numbers of pupils and teachers contaminated.

“The NASUWT is also concerned that Derby City Council appears to have learned very little from the Silverhill prosecution in 2007, at which the NASUWT was a key witness in securing the prosecution.

“The Government and employers should be taking a more proactive approach to the safety and welfare of pupils and staff.”