Teachers are ignoring unions’ work-to-rule order

Most teachers are ignoring a “work-to-rule” ordered by their two biggest unions as the battle to reverse the Government’s education reforms falters. This is from the Times…

Unions have urged teachers to refuse to write termly reports, attend meetings after school, submit lesson plans, cover for absent colleagues or supervise children during breaks.

But a survey seen by The Times suggests that teachers are ignoring their union in almost three quarters of schools. Another 18 per cent said that staff were boycotting some duties but that this was having little or no impact.

The findings will be a relief to parents but are an embarrassment to union leaders, who have little scope to escalate the boycott yet will lose face if they back down.

Only 27 per cent of members of the National Union of Teachers took part in the ballot authorising the action last September. A previous ballot for a strike over pension reforms in 2011 generated a turnout of 40 per cent.

Michael Gove has been concerned about the impact of the work-to-rule and last month wrote to headteachers urging them to dock the pay of those taking part and offering legal guidance.

The NUT also faces a split over whether and how to escalate industrial action, with a series of one-day strikes seeking to close schools in protest at plans for performance-related pay.

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