Moderate teaching union rejects Government's education reforms

The prospect of industrial action over the Government's education reforms has edged a stage closer after one of the country's more moderate teaching unions overwhelmingly rejected proposals to privatise schools.

Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) condemned the education white paper, and its proposals to strip state primaries in England from local authority control, as "an attack on democracy".

The ATL joins both the NUT and NASUWT unions in using their spring conference to oppose academisation, raising the prospect of possible strike action.

ATL members in Liverpool voted unanimously to consider what forms of action, including potential industrial action, may be needed if the Government "fails to listen to education professionals and continues to impose academisation on England's schools".

Proposing the motion, former ATL president Mark Baker, said the Government failed to provide evidence supporting academisation, and added "flawed policies" were generating "embarrassment and ridicule worthy of General Melchett of Blackadder fame".

He said: "We are a profession of lions led by donkeys."