Schoolgirl brought to tears by teacher assistants' strike

A mum from Derby has posted a photo of her crying daughter on Facebook, saying she "can't handle or understand" the disruption caused by teaching assistant (TA) strikes.

Charlotte Gunn told ITV News Central that she wants to raise awareness about the "unjust treatment" of TA's, and the impact the strikes are having on her daughter, Katie-Ann.

In the emotional Facebook post, she stated that TA's are the "backbone" of special needs education and that she is in no way criticising the work they do.

14-year-old Katie remains off school while the strikes continue Credit: ITV News Central/Peter Bearne

Ms Gunn also addresses Derby City Council leader Ranjit Banwait, and says she disagrees that the strikes are having little or no effect.

In an email to ITV News Central, Ms Gunn added:

Teaching assistants say their pay has been cut by up to 25% Credit: ITV News Central

Teaching assistants in Derby have been striking over changes to their contract that they say leaves them with 25% less pay.

In a job evaluation brought in by Derby City Council in June last year, school support staff saw the number of weeks in the year they are paid reduced from 52 to 39, and their working week was cut by 4.5 hours.

The authority has offered to double the one-off figure they are prepared to pay staff in compensation from £1000 to £2000. The offer only stands for employees who meet certain criteria.

Cllr Lisa Eldret is from Derby City Council:

Unison says this equates to just 10% of the 2700 who have been left out of pocket by the contract changes. They say they won't call off industrial action until the Council presents an offer that helps all of them.