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January 14, 2005
You can't touch me I'm part of the Union …

From today's Guardian:

Ruth Kelly had better watch out. She may have arrived as education secretary proclaiming herself the champion of parents, but it's pupil power which could jump up and bite her, for secondary school pupils are about to get their first union.

The English Secondary Students' Association (Essa) is the first union for 11-19-year-olds. It is the brainchild of secondary student, Rajeeb Dey, from Chelmsford in Essex, who heard that Ireland and most of Europe have a union, while England does not.

I wonder what the teachers' unions will make of that.

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, welcomed the move, saying: "It is essential to realise that children and young people are not merely citizens-in-waiting. They are citizens in their own right. So listening to what children and young people have to say is not just a matter of courtesy. It goes to the very heart of what it means to be an active citizen."

I agree, sort of, but I also want to vomit. Just a little.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 04:04 PM
Category: Politics

Given how naοve and left-wing teenagers can be, is this not just a ploy to push an even stronger left-wing agenda in schools? After all, if the students themselves help push it along, NuLab will be doing what's right by the kids, eh? No? Didn't think so...

Comment by: stoatman on January 16, 2005 04:43 PM

High school students in NZ eventually went on strike about their teachers repeatedly going on strike - which finally made the teachers sign a new contract.

That was organised by text messaging rather than a formal union structure.

Dr Mary Bousted may not be so happy in a few years time.

Comment by: Tracy on January 17, 2005 11:22 AM

I think its ignorant to assume that students are naive and left wing and that all they're interested in is striking - if that reflects what you were at school then im afraid things have changed - people should give students more credit - given the chance students are far more mature than we would think!

Comment by: Peter on January 17, 2005 07:50 PM
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