A key feature of current school-sector reform in England is the restructuring of teachers’ work and the increased use of support staff to undertake a range of activities previously undertaken by teachers. Supporters speak of a new teacher professionalism focused on the “core task” of teaching. Critics fear deprofessionalization through a process of de-skilling, work intensification, and labor substitution. This article uses labor process theory and empirical data to analyze recent developments in teachers’ work and links these to the different ways in which teacher trade unions have bargained over reform. The article argues that workforce reform cannot be analyzed separately from the trade union strategies that seek to influence policy and that the emergence of a type of “reform unionism” in England represents the integration of prod- uct and process in policy.

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