A day

Halifax Courier - - Yourcourier -


“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved for in­di­vid­ual mem­bers over the years,” says Sue. “99 per cent of my work is un­seen and what I’ve achieved through case­work and rep­re­sent­ing mem­bers.

“It’s been daunt­ing at times, it’s been up­set­ting, but when you achieve some­thing for that per­son I’m re­ally pleased for them.

“I have to deal with mem­bers who are re­ceiv­ing emails and texts from se­nior lead­er­ship of the school at ten o’clock on a Sun­day night.

“Tech­nol­ogy can be of use, but it has to be of use in the right con­text,” says Sue.

“In a good school it get used well, but in a school that has is­sues it can be­come of a de­mand on teach­ers - and that’s down to man­age­ment.

“You do find it can be a form of bul­ly­ing - putting more pres­sure on a mem­ber.”

Sue isn’t hope­ful about the fu­ture of schools - she is con­cerned about in­creased pri­vati­sa­tion, more tests for younger chil­dren, more un­qual­i­fied teach­ers in the class­room and less job se­cu­rity for teach­ers.

“The way the ed­u­ca­tional land­scape is chang­ing there is go­ing to be less fund­ing and more re­dun­dan­cies - well, we’re not go­ing to sit back and do noth­ing,” says Sue.

“Academies have been to the detri­ment of ed­u­ca­tion - it’s about the pri­vati­sa­tion of ed­u­ca­tion and the break-up of Lo­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Au­thor­i­ties.

“To­day we have Of­sted - you even breathe the word in a school and it gets peo­ple on edge.

“We used to have Her Majesty’s In­spec­tors who used to come into schools - they were prac­ti­tion­ers who worked their way up through the sys­tem.

“They were val­ued be­cause they gave con­crete ad­vice and were al­ways wel­comed in schools.

“Now you have mock Of­st­eds, mini Of­st­eds, and it’s go­ing to get far worse be­cause any school that’s con­sid­ered a coast­ing school - which has yet to be de­fined - will be forced to be­come can academy,” she says.

“Parkin­son Lane is a thriv­ing com­mu­nity school that’s not an academy - you have to ask if they can cre­ate such a won­der­ful school com­mu­nity, you do have to ques­tion why there’s such a push for academi­sa­tion.”

James Wil­son will be re­plac­ing Sue as di­vi­sional sec­re­tary when she steps down on July 16.

Sue McMa­hon

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