The BBC is reporting that Nicky Morgan was met with shouts of “rubbish” as she told teachers about plans to turn all schools in England into an academy.
In an address to the NASUWT teachers’ conference, Ms Morgan said there was no going back on plans to make every school an academy by 2020.
…Initially applauded when she took to the stage at the gathering in Birmingham, Ms Morgan’s speech met with a frosty response from delegates at times.
There was laughter and clapping when she said the government did not always get things right, and one delegate shouted “get off” when she asked teachers to “step up”.
Others, though, praised her for coming to speak to teachers at a union conference.
Ms Morgan paid tribute to the profession, but said there could be no pulling back from the government’s agenda of reform…
“I want to be clear […] there is no reverse gear when it comes to our education reforms.”
Ms Morgan also accused the NASUWT of peddling too much negative comment about the state of the profession, teacher retention and recruitment.
“If I were a young person making a decision about my future career and I saw some of the language coming out from the NASUWT as well as some of the other unions, would I want to become a teacher?….”
Ms Morgan went on: “The teaching unions have a choice – spend the next four years doing battle with us and doing down the profession they represent in the process, or stepping up, seizing the opportunities and promise offered by the White Paper and helping us to shape the future of the education system.”
It is the first time a Conservative education secretary has addressed the NASUWT conference since 1997.
NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates thanked Ms Morgan for attending the annual gathering and said she would be welcome to attend every year.
But she urged her to abandon imposing the academies system on the remaining local authority-controlled schools in England…
Ms Morgan also pledged more support for teachers to protect them from the threat of violence and harassment…
If you were there please let us have your reactions to Nicky Morgan’s address to the NASUWT conference.
What do you make of her call for the unions to be less negative about the professions?
Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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