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  1. ITV Report

Teachers' strike: The reasons why

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The National Union of Teachers' claims school funding is being cut leading to bigger class sizes and an increased workload for teachers.

The Union says:

  • Increased National Insurance and pension payments put on schools by the Government mean schools have to pay out 5% more on salaries.
  • At the same time the cash per pupil funding given to schools has been frozen.
  • For every 20 teachers employed a school has to find the equivalent of one extra teacher's salary to give to the Treasury.
  • The Government is not allowing school budgets to keep pace with inflation.

Schools are facing the worst cuts in funding since the 1970s. The decisions which head teachers have to make are damaging to our children and young people's education. Class sizes going up, school trips reduced, materials and resources reduced, and subjects - particularly in the arts - are being removed from the curriculum. Teaching posts are being cut or not filled when staff leave. All of this just to balance the books."

– Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers

The Government says:

  • The schools budget is the highest it has been this year at £40 billion.
  • The budget has gone up £4 billion since 2011-12
  • Only 10% of teachers have actively backed the vote to walk out.
  • The schools budget has been protected in real terms when other areas of spending are having to be reduced in order to control the public finances.

It is disappointing that the underpinning basis for this strike seems to be teacher pay. The national average teacher pay is £37,800. This week's school workforce figures showed that teaching continues to be an attractive career with more teachers in our schools than ever before - 15,000 more since 2010 - demonstrating how many people relish the prospect of a career where they can transform lives every day."

– Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary