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To what extent are trade unions a force for good in secondary education?

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Introduction

To what extent are Trade Unions a force for good in secondary education? In my coursework into finding out to what extent are trade unions a force for good in secondary education I shall be examining the different unions found in my own college and gathering primary research from members of these using questionnaires and interviews. I will be discovering why each member of staff joined the different unions, gathering their thoughts on the pros and cons of each. I hope to discover what impact these trade unions have on secondary education and to see what they offer in support to their members. More complex questionnaires and interviews with the representatives of each union found in my college will allow me to gather a larger insight into the depths of each organisation. I intend to carry out interviews with both my principle and vice-principle to gather their views on teaching unions and ascertain what differences there are with the unions available exclusively for head teachers and vice-principles. I maintain that teaching unions are very much a force for good in secondary education, as although they concern the teachers primarily I still believe that they have a succeeding effect on the students themselves in many important ways. For example if a teacher is not a member of a union and therefore do not have any of the protection that the union offers in relation to ...read more.

Middle

However if there weren't these unions then it would make it much harder for agreements to be made, as every individual will have their own view and therefore creating unhappiness within the workgroup. Having unions resolves many of the problems although usually there shall be more than one union, each with different needs so not everyone can be happy at any one time. It has been said that teaching associations are far more than trade unions as they are effectively professional bodies that arguably do more to promote standards than the unrepresentative General Teaching Council. Now this appears to be true in many ways. From my research through questionnaires it undoubtedly became clear that the majority of teachers were extremely unhappy with the fact that the GTC did nothing for them but still being made to pay the annual fee to stay with them. Many believed that the GTC offered nothing for them and relied completely upon their teaching union. Each teaching association comprises of extremely high numbers of members with all of the numbers adding together to be just under the amount of teachers in the UK. Trade unions are far less complex than that of the teaching associations and generally offer less in support, both in their lack of training courses and services provided. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although the different unions have different ethics and views, commonly this plays no part in the being the decisive factor in whether a potential member chooses it or not, it is mainly based on recommendation or being the first to approach. However, I do believe that unions do play a large part in being a force for good in secondary education for some teachers, for those that are very much involved with the current issues and the ethics of each organisation. I spoke to a representative who was deeply immersed in the doings of his trade union, closely followed the guidelines set and enmeshed himself into putting his views forward which he claimed affected his teaching in secondary education much so. As the teaching union directly affects the teacher and the way he or she teaches then it subsequently affects the students being taught. In consideration to all the points I broached above I believe that trade unions have a large extent in being a force for good in secondary education for some teachers, on the other hand; in majority for most teachers they do not act as a force for good, nor a force for anything except protecting its' members in legal battles and other policies such as insurance, without affecting the students. Here I have included a sample of my filled-out questionnaires and a bibliography of my sources used. ...read more.

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