Wales needs a public service that’s not for private profit

27 April 2016

Retaining education as a public service is critical to the success of pupils according to Wales’ largest union for qualified teachers. NUT Cymru say that children’s education is too precious a commodity to be privatised and any future Welsh Government must not only continue to rule out such a move but look at tackling the privatisation creep that has taken place with the influx and influence of supply agencies in Wales. NUT Cymru have, in their election manifesto, set out a series of policies they wish to see from the next Welsh Government, including:

  • The Welsh Government should reaffirm its commitment to opposing the privatisation of education.
  • All money made from the sale of school buildings, playing fields and resources should be ring-fenced and reinvested in school budgets.
  • The unfair practices of supply agencies should be tackled. A supply teacher being paid significantly below the agreed pay and conditions for teaching is unacceptable.
  • Supply teachers should be paid a wage that recognises their experience and qualifications.
  • There should be a return to a notion of a managed supply list run at local authority or regional consortia level.

NUT Cymru Secretary, David Evans, said:

“We have been very fortunate in Wales that the Welsh Government has consistently ruled out privatising education services. That has to be a commitment which is cast in stone by any future Welsh Government. Children’s education cannot be the basis for private companies making a quick profit. School budgets are extremely tight and we must ensure that every penny of public money remains in the public sector.

“We have proposed a series of policies not only to stress the importance of ensuring our education system remains in public hands and that money is circulated effectively, but also looking at the existing concerns about the practices of supply agencies. These agencies are making huge profits off the backs of the public sector and are not only sucking funding out of our education system they are directly hindering the ability of schools and teachers to improve the attainment of pupils. This is an issue that has not had the attention it deserves in the past and it has to be one of the key issues the Welsh Government after the election gets

OCR