March 4. 2024. 7:09

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Former UK education secretary says teaching unions ‘hate work’

Teaching unions ‘just hate work’ and complain about a lack of protective equipment in order to ‘have an excuse not to teach’ during the COVID-19 pandemic, Former Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said in a leaked WhatsApp exchange to Matt Hancock, former health secretary.

New leaked WhatsApp messages from The Telegraph’s investigation reveal that Williamson asked Hancock to help unblock school requests for protective equipment in case a child became ill at school as classrooms prepared to reopen after the first lockdown.

Teachers complained about the lack of protective equipment “to have an excuse not to teach,” Williamson wrote on WhatsApp, later adding that some teaching unions “really do just hate work.”

Williamson said it was “basically as a last resort so they can’t use it as a reason not to open. All of them will, but some will just want to say they can’t, so they have an excuse to avoid having to teach, what joys!!!” The Guardian reported.

Williamson, for his part, has been clarifying his stance on Twitter. “Further to reports in the Telegraph and other outlets, I wish to clarify that these messages were about some Unions and not teachers,” Williamson wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

(Sofia Stuart Leeson |