Gove’s call for parents to act as strikebreakers savaged by Mumsnet

Readers of Mumsnet have savaged education secretary Michael Gove's plea for parents to act as strikebreakers.

Readers of Mumsnet – the “internet behemoth” that attracts more than one million unique viewers per month and courted by leading advisers of Conservatives and Labour – have savaged education secretary Michael Gove’s plea for parents to act as strikebreakers on Thursday during planned industrial action by teaching unions NUT and ATL.

The vast majority of comments on one of the threads, entitled “Parents becoming teachers? Is it me or has Gove totally lost it?”, slammed the minister.

They included:

“How do you feel about going into school to cover for a teacher who is on strike? Is there anyone out there who believes that this is a sound idea…. I think it’s madness!!

“What happened to schools not being allowed to let anyone over the school threasehold without a CRB!!! Oh I guess governments can just change the rules to suit themselves.

“Supervision of unqualified staff in classroom? Expertise and qualifications? Experience of supervising, if not actually teaching, 30 children at once? CRB checks? Health and safety, and safeguarding children issues? Do these things not matter any more?”

And the damning:

“Nothing [about] that man says surprises me anymore :(“

Yesterday’s Independent on Sunday reported that in a letter to local authorities, the Education Secretary:

“…asked heads to consider ‘the full range of local resources available to you from within your school staff and the wider school community to ensure that wherever possible your school remains open’.

“Asked whether ‘wider school community’ meant getting parents to teach lessons, a spokesman for the minister said yesterday: ‘It is up to schools how they want to keep themselves open. If they do that kind of thing, we think that is great.'”

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by becoming a Left Foot Forward Supporter today.