Seniors should not use terms like “awake” or “snowflakes” to mock the younger generation and their commitment to campaigning on issues such as misogyny, Black Lives Matter, gender identity. and climate action, said a leading school leader.
Samantha Price, president of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), warned that using derogatory language to downplay young people’s demands for change risks undermining future progress on equality and sustainability.
Price, who is the director of Benenden, an independent boarding school in Kent and who will be speaking at the GSA’s annual conference in Manchester this week, said there was a risk that young people would abandon their campaign campaigns. ‘they continue to be dismissed as “unrealistic not-good”.
“As they hit their 20s and mature longer, what was such a passion for them when they were younger will eventually fade away,” Price told PA media ahead of the two-day conference. which starts on Monday.
“Therefore, we probably won’t see the level of progress in society – from sustainability to equality – that I think we have the opportunity to see and maintain now if we, our generation, manage this effectively. “
Price will tell the rally of 100 private school principals that young people may not always approach their protests in the best way – students have been criticized for participating in school strikes over the climate crisis – but he it is up to schools to teach them how to conduct themselves in such a way that they can effect lasting change.
She will say: “In recent years there have been many references to this generation being ‘awake’ – in a derogatory sense – and adults have said that they feel like today’s teenagers speak to them a different language and they cannot say anything. without being corrected or “challenged” by these politically correct – or “awakened” children.
“To some extent, as parents and school leaders, we can probably all relate to this in one way or another, but I’m getting a little sick of hearing the older generation say: ‘you can’t say anything more’. The point is, times have changed and we just have to follow them. “
Meanwhile, members of another group of independent sector schools, the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), are taking part in an indicative ballot on strike action that opens Monday over the trust’s plans to se withdraw from the teachers’ pension plan. . This is the very first national strike vote in the 149-year history of the GDST.
The National Education Union, which represents 65% of the teaching staff in the 23 GDST schools, said the withdrawal from the program would result in a significant pay cut for teachers and undermine schools’ ability to recruit and retain teachers. .
According to the GDST, 280 independent schools have already withdrawn from the TPS after employer contributions increased by 43% in 2019. The hike was supported by the government in the sector maintained, but not in independent schools.
Cheryl Giovannoni, Managing Director of GST, said: “GDST has been grappling with the increasing cost of the GST regime since 2019, when the employer’s contribution increased from 16.48% to 23.68%, which represents an increase of 43%.
The GDST alternative to the TPS offers an employer contribution of 20% in a flexible defined contribution pension scheme. “We would not have proposed to leave the TPS if we had not felt that we had a viable alternative for our teachers, an alternative that offers them a comfortable retirement and flexibility around their overall remuneration.