Gulf between state and private sector

A gulf has opened up between the state and the private sector in terms of pay, pensions and job security. In healthcare, social services and education, those responsible for shocking treatment of the public remain untouched and even flourish. The report on the scandal in Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust points to up to 1,200 unnecessary deaths, but not a single individual has been publicly blamed. We have a state education system that is failing children at every level but in the past decade only 78 of England’s 450,000 teachers have appeared before the GTC over alleged incompetence and only 12 were actually suspended. Yet it is not just the public that suffers. Failure to pull up lazy or arrogant staff demoralizes those who work hard and care about their job. Incompetent teachers are often better rewarded because they know how to play the system. As long as teachers create a folder of evidence of their continuing “professional development” they move smoothly on to the next pay level. It is the pursuit of targets set by the government that has led to this “fundamental break of NHS values”. This dislocation applies across the state sector. Over and over again I have seen, in schools, social services and hospitals, the attention of managers wholly taken up with the flood of targets and initiatives which blinds them to what is going on in the classroom or on the ward.

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