By Matthew Barrett
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Over the last few days, some newspapers have reported stories aimed at contrasting the success of Team GB with the supposed undermining of future success by the current Government through, for example, selling off playing fields, and scrapping a target of two hours of school sports per week for every school. The playing fields story turned out to be rather more complicated than a straightforward "evil Tory cuts!" attack.
This afternoon, CCHQ has decided to go on the offensive. As Guido Fawkes reported yesterday, the NASUWT teaching union instructed its members to…
"…refuse to attend any meetings and activities outside school session times which are not on the school calendar and which are not within directed time. Members should refuse to agree to timetable changes where no sound educational reasons have been given for the change. … Members should refuse to undertake supervision of pupils during the lunch break."
CCHQ say NASUWT and the NUT – who represent more than 300,000 members – are being hypocritical for attacking the lack of sport in schools, while simultaneously ordering members not to supervise sports outside school hours. Yesterday, Chris Keates, the General Secretary of NASUWT union, said:
"It is unfair to claim that schools are not doing enough to foster a sense of sporting competition among our young people. The real issue is the major cuts that this coalition Government has made to school sports. They have cut school budgets in real terms, which has reduced the resources available for schools to spend on sport"
"It is utterly hypocritical for the unions to blame the government for a lack of sport in school at the same time as ordering their members not to help with activities outside of school hours. Following the huge success of the Olympics, the last thing we want is to go back to a time when school sport was crippled by militant union leaders embarking on a damaging and irresponsible work to rule. Ed Miliband and Stephen Twigg must condemn their union allies for standing in the way of children who want to take part in sport after school. If everyone in Team GB worked to rule like the NASUWT we would have fewer medals than Australia."