Danish teachers have been locked out by their employers in a dispute over the direction of Danish education.

The government wants to remove the limits on teaching hours – currently at 25 – and to allow schools free rein to determine the number of hours which teachers are required to teach. In addition younger children would be expected to spend an extra two hours in school and older students three hours more. The union and the employers are deadlocked and teachers accuse the government of interfering in the negotiations.

Teachers say that the changes will have a negative impact on the quality of education as teachers may not have time to prepare their lessons. Many teachers see this moment as threatening a sea change in Denmark, which has previously been moderately protected from neo-liberal ‘reform.’ Now however the government is turning towards an instrumentalist curriculum based on ‘competencies.’