Teachers struggled to sit quietly and behave yesterday as Education Secretary Nicky Morgan addressed the conference of the NASUWT.
Starting off with “Hey, I want you guys to call me Nicky, OK?” Mrs Morgan soon realised that the teachers, attending conference and simultaneously marking books, needed a firmer hand.
“You have a choice – if you spend the next four years doing battle with us it will be your own time you’re wasting…” she announced to the badly behaved audience, adding that the union itself obviously required improvement. “Who spoke at the back?” she snapped “Come on, own up or you’ll all be in detention.”
When it was apparent that she’d lost control of the room, Mrs Morgan skilfully fetched a more experienced member of the conference team to come into the room and handle the unruly hecklers and choral hummers.
Afterwards she told the union leaders “There is no reverse gear – this government will simply keep you all here and repeat this process again and again until you get it right. Are you chewing?”
“It’s clear that there needs to be changes round here and we’ll start with a spelling test first thing Monday.”