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Schoolchildren could face disruption before the end of the year after teachers voted for a post-election ballot on national strikes over education funding cuts. Delegates at the National Union of Teachers annual conference in Harrogate backed a resolution effectively giving the next government a six-month deadline to come up with a fresh plan to protect school spending, or face industrial action, including walkouts.
They warned that the looming funding cuts currently faced by schools and colleges will damage pupils' education, lead to job losses and hit teachers' pay, pensions and workload.
Teachers are expected to raise the prospect of a boycott of new literacy and numeracy tests for four-year-olds.
A resolution due to be debated at the National Union of Teachers (NUT) conference in Harrogate calls for action to undermine testing in primary schools, working towards a protest against "baseline" assessments as the first step.
Under the outgoing government's reforms, from next September, infants will undergo literacy and numeracy checks just weeks after they start in reception. The results will be used to chart children's progress throughout primary school.
As teachers announce plans that could result in strike action there seems to be little support for any walk outs with parents reacting angrily to the plans.
- Helen Nellie Chadwick: Surprise surprise think parents should unite as one to stop the fines for taking kids out as its prejudice as it doesn't apply to the disruption that strikes cause let alone the poor pupils about to do their exams.
- Gypsy Bluebell: Outrageous. Parents can't take children out of school because of disruption to the rest of the class... I have no sympathy with them, whatsoever.
- Ron Lock: Why don't they have their strikes in August, as a nurse I am getting fed up with this... Maybe we should refuse to treat teachers when they go on strike!
- Tracy Trotter: Find a different way than walking out. It not only hurts the gov it hurts every parent and costs [them] to find childcare.
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The Department for Education has hit out at the National Union of Teachers over proposed strike action in June, saying it will "damage the reputation of the profession".
A spokesperson added that it was up to headteachers to ensure their staff have manageable workloads.
Ministers have met frequently with the NUT and other unions and will continue to do so. Further strike action will only disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession.
It is important that teachers work closely with school leaders to ensure that their workload is manageable. We trust the professionalism of our headteachers to monitor their staff's workload and address any issues.
Teachers have taken to Twitter in support of the news that summer strike action has been approved by the National Union of Teachers (NUT).
#NUT2014 so pleased that we have passed the stand up for education motion. Loved the fact that everyone stood up and clapped at the end!
#NUT2014 Strike action isn't certain, it is an OPTION, to be taken if the Govt won't negotiate. The Govt can prevent it, if they want to.
The National Union of Teachers has voted for a series of fresh strikes, starting with a national walkout in June.
The action relates to a long-running dispute over pay, pensions and working conditions.
Michael Gove has been described as a "demented Dalek on speed" today as teachers debated calls for a major escalation of strike action.
Teachers need to put "maximum pressure" on the Government to force them to change their policies on issues such as pay and working conditions, activists at the National Union of Teachers annual conference also heard.
Ian Murch, a member of the union's executive, launched a stinging attack on the Education Secretary, saying: "We need a secretary of state who believes in treating teachers properly and respecting their professionalism."
He told the conference: "We are here to do the public a favour, to make sure Michael Gove's days are numbered. Michael Gove you have to go."
He then described the minister as "a parody of an Education Secretary"
"Michael Gove, the demented Dalek on speed who wants to exterminate anything good in education that's come along since the 1950s." Murch continued.
"Michael Gove, the man who says he wants to set schools free and then sends in the Spanish inquisition."
Thousands of schools across England and Wales forced to close as teachers strike and threaten further action.Read the full story ›