Commenting on the speech by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“It is clear from this speech that the Deputy Prime Minister is now seeking to distance himself from unpopular and flawed policies which he and his ministers were complicit in introducing.

“Does he honestly think that either the teaching profession or parents will be impressed that he is now an apparent convert to the importance of qualified teacher status, when a Liberal Democrat Minister presided over its removal?

“The Deputy Prime Minister’s announcement of a Champions League of headteachers once again demonstrates nothing but contempt for the School Teachers’ Review Body, which is currently considering the whole issue of leadership pay.

“With regard to the Deputy Prime Minister’s announcement on the importance of all children and young people having an entitlement to a national curriculum and healthy food standards, they had these until he came into office.

“The Deputy Prime Minister’s attempts to distance himself from the failed education policies of the Coalition fool no-one. This is an announcement with one eye on a looming general election, but no-one will forget that this is the same person who before the last election, signed a pledge that there would be no increase in tuition fees.

“None of these detrimental changes would have seen the light of day if he and Liberal Democrat Ministers had not supported them.”

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