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Teachers could be set to strike over 'intolerable' classroom workloads after voting on a motion suggesting the use of industrial action during this weekend's National Union of Teachers conference.
Members of the profession attending the annual conference voted in favour of "building a campaign to persuade members that national strike action will be necessary to bring about changes in the intolerable working conditions, and lack of work-life balance, created by current Government policies".
The agreement to consider industrial action came as NUT members spoke of the pressures they face which they claim are driven by increasing student numbers, a growing teacher shortage, and reduced funding for schools.
Laura Fisher, a teacher from Wakefield, told the conference that while strike action was difficult she believed it may be necessary.
She said: "I know striking is a difficult subject, it is still the biggest debate within ourselves. People say, 'I didn't become a teacher to strike'.
"But every day I strike, I am teaching children the biggest lesson of all - that their education is worth fighting for."
Members will still need to be balloted before any strike action can get the go ahead.
The National Union of Teacher's deputy general secretary has challenged the Education Secretary to provide evidence in support of the Government's plans for sweeping school reforms.
It emerged today that the NUT's Kevin Courtney sent an open letter to Nicky Morgan on Wednesday, outlining concerns that plans to turn all schools into academies by 2020 had been founded on scant evidence.
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Roy Perry has challenged the government to produce evidence showing academies always drive up standards.
The Labour leader has told the NUT the Government's push for academies would lead to the 'asset -stripping of our education system'.