"There is a real risk the public education system will collapse", 300 head teachers warn minister

Letter to Catalan Education minister demands "measures and not words" and more resources and staff

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A classroom at the Rafael Alberti School in Badalona.

BarcelonaUnder 48 hours before a new day of industrial action in state schools, head teachers from 300 schools have signed a letter addressed to Catalan Education minister Josep Gonzàlez-Cambray, to which ARA has had access, in which they warn that the situation in schools is "unsustainable": "There is a real risk that the whole public education system will collapse and the functioning of state schools with minimum quality standards will no longer be guaranteed". The statement asks the minister for "measures not words" after "repeated" demands made by schools to the Department.

The directors claim they are experiencing a "bureaucratic, work and management overload as was never seen before", among other things, due to changes to the curriculum which will be in place by next year, and also due to the new after-school activities in September. They claim that "exhaustion and tension" of the entire school system stems from a lack of "planning and resources" that is "evident and really very worrying". And here they refer to teaching teams, but also to technical teams, boards, assessment and guidance teams, the educational care staff and the canteen workers, among others. In the face generalised weariness, they warn of the risk that the entire public education system may "collapse".

The signatories, who sign as individuals but also representing their schools, say they are "fully aware" of the reality in classrooms and ask for "real and effective changes" in several key points, which are not new: rolling out the inclusive school decree, more non-teaching hours to prepare the new curriculum and a response to the 25%-in-Spanish court ruling. They also ask for a rethink of "the volume, suitability and quality of the training courses proposed", after some head teachers attended the sessions organised by the department on the new curriculum.

The text, which was first prepared by Barcelona head teachers, then received backing from other schools. The head teachers do not give their explicit support to Wednesday's strike, but they do state that, in view of their "obligation to ensure the quality of public education", they will continue "to take measures in this respect". With this letter, head teachers of state schools are repeating the gesture they made in an unprecedented manner in March when they also sent a letter to Cambray to convey their "discomfort with way communications and resources were managed".