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Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/15706

Posted on 15 November 2012 at 15:24 GMT

PCS condemns Gove's 'nightmarish experiment'

A PCS press release:

Gove's 'nightmarish experiment' plays politics with people's lives.

Plans revealed on 14th November for deeper cuts of up to 50% in the Department for Education are a 'nightmarish experiment' that plays politics with people's lives.

The department has threatened to close more offices, cut staff by another quarter, with a further 1,000 jobs under threat, and has confirmed plans to use a performance management system that it acknowledges is discriminatory to "speedily manage out" those who it deems are under-performing.

The proposed cuts go far beyond what was required under the failing and damaging austerity policies of the Tory-led government.

Education secretary Michael Gove appears to want to use his civil servants as a testing ground for an ideological attack on the civil service as a whole, putting at risk some of the important work the DfE does with schools, teachers and communities, including children's services, support for comprehensives, and training and development.

DfE senior managers have acknowledged that under their performance management system people over 50 and black and minority ethnic staff are more likely to be judged as "unsatisfactory", leaving them vulnerable to being unfairly selected for redundancy, which could qualify as unlawful discrimination.

The union is currently balloting its DfE members on a new imposed performance management system, expecting a huge rejection, and is calling for its immediate withdrawal.

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