The Daily Mail is getting its knickers in a twist because teachers dared to tell the truth about our schools

KAM Daily Fail Daily Mail
Support us and go ad-free

The Daily Mail, still struggling to come to terms with the huge Tory losses at the election, has found a new scapegoat: headteachers.

During the election, 3,000 headteachers across 14 counties wrote to parents about the current situation regarding school funding. And they urged parents to ensure that education was put firmly on the election agenda.

But The Mail isn’t happy. And one article seeks to accuse teachers of attempting to ‘sway’ the election.

The letter

The original letter, seen by The Canary, advised parents to put education at the forefront of the election debate. And while they were careful not to be party political, they were adamant that what was happening with schools was a vital issue:

During all our campaigning work to improve funding for each and every child in each and every school, we have been careful not to become involved in a politically biased or partisan way. Headteacher colleagues and I feel that ahead of the forthcoming general election, it is crucial that parents, carers and all other interested parties raise the issue of school funding ‘on the doorstep’ with all prospective candidates.

The letter continued:

It would be naive to think that school funding is the only issue affecting everyone’s lives but school finances are in such a dreadful state that we believe it is vital to urge you to raise it as a key issue.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

It also stated:

As professionals, we are only interested in securing fair and adequate funding for the children we educate. This is under severe threat and has influenced our decision to contact you in a collaborative manner.

Sour grapes

Speaking to The Mail, MP Henry Smith clearly has sour grapes over the issue. He stated:

To be engaging in the party political fray using official letterheads and Twitter accounts is unacceptable. It’s largely driven by some of the personal political opinions of some heads and teachers rather than the facts.

He also had the audacity to complain that teachers were wasting their budgets on the letters:

Parents tend to trust what their schools are telling them. If funding is such a tight issue, what are they doing spending money on these letters?

The reality

Schools have been sending out letters to parents because they are desperately short of money. These letters started before the election period and are a result of real-term cuts to school budgets. Schools are being forced to make redundancies, cut essential support services, and teach lessons in leaky classrooms. Even Ofsted-rated outstanding academies have been forced to send begging letters to parents.

Meanwhile, the Conservative manifesto offered nothing to relieve the situation. Instead, it pledged to reintroduce grammar schools. This is despite both the National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Headteachers opposing the plans.

And Theresa May was labelled a “dinner snatcher” for proposals to take free school dinners away from primary school children. May wanted to replace them with breakfasts. The government has had to step back from that policy though, as the original costings provided less than 7p per child for breakfast.

Impact

The letters sent to parents did not have a party political agenda. They were aimed at asking parents to raise the issue of education on the doorstep and as part of the campaign.

But the Tories didn’t listen. Instead, they carried on as if it was business as usual, and it resulted in an appalling election result for them. Now, though, they are being forced to make concessions in some areas. Education Secretary Justine Greening quietly shelved plans for grammar schools. And the manifesto pledge to abolish school dinners has also been dropped.

Instead of right-wing politicians and the press blaming teachers for daring to say that education should be an important issue in the election, they should be looking at why headteachers felt forced to send the letters in the first place. And they need to listen to the electorate. This means not only scrapping their disastrous flagship policies, but also actually investing in our children’s future.

Get Involved!

– Join the Million March on London on 1 July.

Featured image via Kerry-Anne Mendoza

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed