Schools close as teachers strike

Thousands of schools faced disruption today as teachers staged a fresh wave of strikes in an ongoing row over pay, pensions and working conditions.

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Teachers take to the streets during strike

Members of the National Union of Teachers and the NASUWT, march through Bristol. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Tens of thousands of teachers are taking part in the one-day walkout, according to union leaders, in the latest stage of industrial action over pay, pensions and conditions.

A teacher dressed as a 'Govebuster' marches through Brighton. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Members of the NASUWT, along with the National Union of Teachers (NUT), are staging walkouts in the North East and Cumbria, the South West, South East and London.

A rally takes place in central Southampton. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

The Government said that just over a quarter of schools in the four English regions hit by the strike had been forced to shut their doors, as it condemned the action.

Teachers and union members march through the streets of Bristol. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire


NUT: 'Only 8%' back Gove's education reforms

Only 8% of parents support the education secretary's reforms and think they are good for their children, the general secretary of the National Teacher's Union (NUT) said.

Christine Blower made it clear no one - teachers and parents - wanted to resort to a strike, but industrial action was necessary if a pay system which was "fair" to teachers "everywhere" was implemented.

Read more: Teachers to stage fresh strike


Government: 70% against teachers strike

Almost three-quarters of people are opposed to the teachers strike, according to the Department of Education

A spokeswoman said 70% of people were against industrial action or believed teachers should not be allowed to strike at all.

It is disappointing that the NUT and NASUWT are striking over the Government's measures to allow heads to pay good teachers more.

In a recent poll, 61% of respondents supported linking teachers' pay to performance and 70% either opposed the strikes or believed that teachers should not be allowed to strike at all.

All strikes will do is disrupt parents' lives, hold back children's education and damage the reputation of the profession.

– Department for Education spokeswoman

The teachers' unions argue their members are walking out because of cuts to their pay, higher pension contributions and poor working conditions.

Unions: Cuts to pay and pensions behind teacher strike

Teachers are going on strike because of they will be forced to pay more into their pensions, work for longer and get less out when they retire, their unions have said.

According to the the National Union of Teachers (NUT), thousands of schools will be shut down because:

  • Schools will be allowed to set teachers' salaries, according to their performance in the classroom.
  • Pay rises are capped at 1%.
  • Teachers will have to make higher pension contributions.
  • Unions say this will leave their members with a 15% pay cut, as inflation rises beyond 1% and teachers are forced to put more into their pensions each month.
  • They also accuse the Government of attacking their working conditions, including allowing schools to have longer school days and longer terms.

Thousands of schools to shut as teachers walk out

Thousands of pupils across England will miss a day of school as their teachers go on strike in a row over pay, pensions and conditions, their unions have announced.

Cuts to pay, pensions and conditions have created low morale, their unions have said. Credit: PA

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) and NASUWT say members are fed up with Government reforms which will cut deeper into salaries and force staff to work longer, while pensions pay out less.

Pupils in four regions of England - the North East and Cumbria, the South West, South East and London - will be affected, as members of two of England's biggest teaching unions take part in the second day of walkouts this term.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said the "overwhelming majority" of teachers in these regions would be on strike and blamed education secretary Michael Gove for the industrial action.

"It is the failure and unreasonableness of the Secretary of State, who day-in-day-out is disrupting the education of children and young people through his attacks on the teaching profession."

Read more: Thousands of teachers on strike

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