Union boss accuses retired school examiner of ‘sending children to their deaths’ in latest lockdown


Union boss accuses retired school examiner of ‘sending children to their deaths’ in the latest Covid lockdown

  • Alison McRobb, 77, said she was left terrified by call from North London teacher
  • She claims that Philip Davison subjected her to series of ‘threatening’ questions
  • It came after the CRE opposed calls to close schools in latest Covid lockdown
  • Union activist Ms McRobb said: ‘It’s shocking to know he’s in charge of children’ 

Alison McRobb (pictured above), 77, member of the Campaign for Real Education (CRE) pressure group, said she was left terrified by a call from a teacher in North London

A retired school examiner has described being the target of a 30-minute tirade from a teaching union activist who accused her of ‘sending children to their deaths’ in the latest Covid lockdown.

Alison McRobb, 77, a theology lecturer and member of the Campaign for Real Education (CRE) pressure group, said she was left terrified by a call from Philip Davison, a teacher in North London.

Mr Davison, 50, is an official for the NASUWT, Britain’s second-largest teaching union. He obtained Mrs McRobb’s mobile number from the CRE website.

The Labour Party member rang Mrs McRobb after the CRE opposed calls by teaching unions for schools to close during the second Covid lockdown. She claims that Mr Davison demanded to know if she was a Tory voter before subjecting her to a series of ‘threatening’ questions.

Last night, as the NASUWT considered whether to launch an investigation into Mr Davison, a negotiating secretary for the union, Mrs McRobb told The Mail on Sunday: ‘It’s shocking to know he’s in charge of children.’

She added: ‘He said that he didn’t agree that we were campaigning for children to go back to school,’ and claimed she was ‘sending teachers and children to their deaths’.

‘My husband died two years ago from a heart problem unexpectedly and I’m still grieving, so that was difficult to have to hear. It was chilling.

‘He said I should be ashamed and I should resign as I’m the member of an executive committee of an outfit that said kids should be in schools. He said I must be a Tory because of my beliefs and kept demanding to know.

‘He wasn’t in the mood for discussion. He admitted he was angry. He said, “How would you feel if you were a teacher and were told you had to be in school tomorrow? If you were ordered by the Government to a virtual death sentence?”

‘I was gobsmacked. It ended by him saying he would have pray about his inability to pray for me as I was a lost soul. I found that very creepy.’

The Labour Party member rang Mrs McRobb after the CRE opposed calls by teaching unions for schools to close during the second Covid lockdown (file photo of school in Worcester)

The Labour Party member rang Mrs McRobb after the CRE opposed calls by teaching unions for schools to close during the second Covid lockdown (file photo of school in Worcester)

Reflecting on the tirade, the mother-of-two, who started teaching in 1966 and became an examiner four years later, said: ‘No one should have to go through that. What kind of society do we live in if we can’t express our views? There’s a reasonable channel for him to express his argument but he didn’t take the route and instead ambushed an elderly woman.’

Chris McGovern, chairman of the CRE, said: ‘The door is being closed on freedom of speech in the UK.’

A NASUWT spokesman said: ‘The union takes very seriously issues of professional conduct. It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the alleged incident or any individuals involved pending the outcome of any investigation that we may be required to undertake.’

Last night, Mr Davison said: ‘I, as a private citizen in my own time, made the decision to ring the group and say they are wrong. I raised my concerns about what they said and, somehow magically, it’s gone over to The Mail on Sunday. Do you think anybody cares about my opinion?’

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