Teachers' Pay

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Education and Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th January 1999.

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Photo of David Blunkett David Blunkett Secretary of State for Education and Employment 12:00 am, 14th January 1999

The shadow Minister is matching the shadow Secretary of State in her enthusiasm to back the National Union of Teachers and, to mirror his words, to set up workers co-operatives running our schools. "Leave it to the teachers" is the new Conservative party slogan.

We are interested in a partnership with teachers. We want to support them and work with them to help them do their job. Nobody pretends for a moment that it would help recruitment, morale or standards for me to go round suggesting that there is a crisis when there is not. I was shadow Health Secretary for two years and I well understand what those in the acute services can present on television. We are ensuring that there is a plan for the future. We shall overcome recruitment problems, we shall raise standards and, above all, we shall make the teaching profession one that all people want to join.