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Teachers' Strike: Hundreds attend Durham NUT rally

Hundreds of people have attended an NUT rally in Durham in support of a national teachers' strike over what they claim is inadequate funding.

Education Secretary Nicky Morganhas said the strike will "harm children's education" and "damage the profession's reputation in the eyes of the public".

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Nikki Morgan MP: "It will harm children's education"

Teachers are on strike in a dispute over school funding.

Education Secretary Nikki Morgan has said the strike will "harm children's education" and "damage the profession's reputation in the eyes of the public".

Number of school closures in council areas

As teachers across the region stage a 24-hour strike, pupils remain at home because of closures.

Teachers are involved in a national dispute with the government over school funding.

Below is a list of how many schools are affected (closed or partially closed) in each of our council areas.

  • Durham - 65
  • Newcastle - 29
  • Northumberland - 30
  • Sunderland - 43
  • South Tyneside - 17
  • North Tyneside - 13
  • Redcar and Cleveland - 6
  • Middlesbrough - 55
  • North Yorkshire - 42
  • York - 23

Teacher strike over 'inadequate' school funding

The National Union of Teachers is staging a strike today over what it says is inadequate school funding.

A demonstration in support of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), as teachers in England are to stage a one-day strike over pay and conditions. Credit: PA

NUT acting leader Kevin Courtney is calling for an increase in funding to meet rising costs for schools.

Education Secretary Nikki Morgan has said the strike will "damage the profession's reputation in the eyes of the public".

In a letter to Mr Courtney she urged him to reconsider the industrial action:

Removing unnecessary workload for teachers is a priority for this government, and we have made this clear in our discussions.

To suggest we aren’t prioritising school funding is disingenuous...This year the schools budget will total around £40bn, an increase of around £4 billion since 2011-12, so it is now the highest it has ever been.

It is also disappointing that the underpinning basis for this strike seems to be teacher pay.

I believe this action is counterproductive – it will harm children’s education, inconvenience parents and damage the profession’s reputation in the eyes of the public.

– Nikki Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education


Spider expert: this only happens every one to two years

An expert in exotic spiders says the suspected bite on a teacher at Gateshead nursery is an extremely rare event.

Claire Rind from says this only happens every once every 2 or 3 years in the UK.

Gateshead nursery closes after teacher bitten by exotic spider

A nursery school in Gateshead has closed after a teacher was bitten by what is suspected to be an exotic spider.

The incident at Bensham Grove Community Nursery School on Sidney Grove happened yesterday as a teacher was putting bananas into a fruitbowl.

The teacher was examined by doctors at the QE hospital in Gateshead for swelling and bruising. The school say she is now "absolutely fine".

The school has been closed until further notice as the Council's Health and Safety Teams and Pest Control teams work to locate the spider.

Credit: Facebook

The nursery school is attended by children aged 0-5.

Denise Henry, head teacher at Bensham Grove Community Nursery School, and Helen Bowlby, 4Children Daycare, said:

One of our members of staff was bitten while putting bananas that had been supplied by our fruit suppliers into the fruit bowl. The member of staff was examined by medical staff at the QE Hospital and although she suffered some swelling and bruising at the time she is now absolutely fine.

The hospital suspects it is a spider bite. We are now working closely with the Council’s Health and Safety and Pest Control teams and with the food suppliers to decide upon the best way forward.

The safety of our children is paramount and the school and daycare will therefore remain closed until we are satisfied that the situation has been dealt with and there is no risk to our children. Alternative provision for the daycare has been made available to parents in the meantime.”

– Denise Henry, head teacher at Bensham Grove Community Nursery School

Plans revealed for new 1,200 pupil school in Newcastle

Plans for a new school for 1,200 9 to 16-year-olds in Newcastle have been revealed by by the Government.

The academy trust Gosforth Federated Academies Ltd is to open the Gosforth Great Park Academy in Gosforth, Newcastle, once full plans have been drawn up.

Building on their successes within their two existing academies, both judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, the new school will aim to provide academic excellence centred around the core skills of English, mathematics, science, and PE.

Students will be able to access a varied vocational programme, as well as a highly successful languages programme supported by the University of Newcastle.

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