Nearly 200 NE schools close as teachers strike

Teachers make their feelings known about pay and working hours. Photo: ITV Tyne Tees

Nearly 200 schools across the North East closed today (March 26) as members of the National Union of Teachers walked out of work.

The NUT is unhappy about pay and working hours, and says that primary school teachers are working 60 hours a week.

But the Government says that teachers should only teach 31 hours a week, and that it is up to schools to manage their hours.

The strike affected parents, including working mother Kerry Scobie from Forest Hall, who said:

"My children are missing education.

"With my daughter Lauren having her Sats this ear, it's quite a crucial day she's missing.

"There must be a better way of dealing with it these days, rather than striking."

A rally was held in Newcastle, where one teacher told Tyne Tees that they are on strike because the Education Secretary Michael Gove is not even negotiating.

Jo Waddle, part of the North Tyneside NUT, said: "I think it's terrible that teachers have to work right up until the point when they're 68.

"Particularly when Michael Gove has increased their workload to 60 hours a week."

But the other six teaching unions chose not to strike, including the NASUWT.

It meant that many schools across the region remained open.

NASWUT says it believed that negotiation with the Government was the way forward.