Corbyn gets ovation as he addresses union conference

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn is congratulated following his speech during the National Union of Teachers Conference at the Brighton Centre, Brighton. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn is congratulated following his speech during the National Union of Teachers Conference at the Brighton Centre, Brighton. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

0
Have your say

JEREMY CORBYN was given a standing ovation as he became the first political leader in living memory to address the National Union of Teachers’ (NUT) conference.

The Labour veteran, a fervent opponent to the Government’s planned academisation programme, brought the packed conference hall in Brighton to its feet as he took to the stage to accuse Tories of presiding over a “crisis in our schools”. The former backbencher, propelled to leader following last year’s Conservative general election victory, said: “George Osborne used the Budget to announce the forced academisation of all schools.

“Let’s be clear - this is an ideological attack on teachers and on local and parental accountability - it was nowhere in Tory manifesto, it’s something that’s just been dreamt up at the last minute and stuck into the Budget. I want schools accountable to their parents and their communities - not as a process of asset-stripping our facilities to be handed over to somebody else. There is not a shred of evidence that academies improve standards.”

Mr Corbyn told the conference his late mother was a maths teacher and an NUT member.

And he drew laughs when he identified someone who he said would benefit from her teachings.

He said: “There’s one or two pupils around the country who need extra tuition - one of those is George Osborne.

“Having just presented a Budget to Parliament that doesn’t add up - in fact it has a massive black hole in it - I think maybe a little extra tuition would be useful to him.

“Is anybody offering? Please, somebody.”

Switching back to the Government’s plan for academisation, he added: “There is a crisis in our schools now.

“Children are facing rising class sizes; there is a shortage of teachers, and parents already face a crisis in school places.

“Forced academisation will do nothing to address any of those problems.

“Yet, in Osborne’s Budget, over £600m has been allocated to needless reorganisation that has addressed not a single issue that matters to teachers, parents or pupils.

“You see where the priorities are - spending money on a reorganisation nobody wants, to reduce the influence and control of local authorities in order to bring in unaccountable academies. Those are the Tory priorities - they’re absolutely not ours.”

Members of the audience shouted: “We love you Jeremy” as he left the stage.

Back to the top of the page