Socialist Worker

Schools crisis set to deepen

Issue No. 1860

THE EDUCATION funding crisis is set to bite again in September as a survey reveals one in five schools have spent their cash reserves. Education secretary Charles Clarke claimed the budget crisis that hit schools this year would not be repeated in September.

But there are already signs of more difficulties ahead. Top teacher training colleges report that graduates can't find jobs as schools hold back from recruiting.

And Clarke is already moving to make teachers pay for what could be years of cash shortfall. His submission to the teachers' pay review body, which recommends pay increases, calls for a three-year wage freeze. He is also slashing the amount of money available to pay teachers performance-related bonuses.

And there is a growing feeling that the government's deal on teachers' workload is all about cutting costs. The largest teaching union, the National Union of Teachers (NUT), refused to sign up to the workload deal in January. Now many in unions that did sign up to the deal feel they have been conned.

Tube crash 'preventable'

THE FAULT that derailed a London tube train caused earlier accidents without being fixed. So concludes London Underground's official report into the Chancery Lane crash last January.

Report author Dr Roger Aylward says, 'The report clearly describes that, following an earlier incident at Hainault, the underlying causes were not understood and this serious incident was not prevented as it should have been.' Yet London Underground bosses gave managers £1,000 in holiday vouchers for taking 'just' five months to get the service operating again.

GM fears are growing

GENETICALLY MODIFIED crops can cross with wild species to create 'superweeds' that will be very difficult to control, according to new research. Government's science advisers have identified five plant species that could become contaminated by pollen from genetically modified (GM) oilseed rape.

And research at an experimental plot in Humberside has found that 46 percent of wild turnip seeds were contaminated with genes from GM oilseed rape.

Ex-minister slams Labour

MICHAEL MEACHER sat in Blair's cabinet through the war. Now he is blasting New Labour. He says, 'Under New Labour, the trend to inequality has revived. The rich have a bigger share of the nation's post-tax income than at any time under Mrs Thatcher.

'Several factors are now accelerating the dynamic towards an inequality greater than at any time since the 1930s.'

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Sat 19 Jul 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1860
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