Teacher’s strike: Why are the teachers striking and will your child’s school be affected?

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  • On Tuesday 5th July teachers who are members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) will strike, meaning that your child’s school may be closed, or partially closed.

    Around 90 per cent of the NUT’s 332,389 members backed the action in a strike ballot aiming to protect teachers’ pay and increase funding for schools.

    Why are teachers striking?

    The strike’s main terms are centred around protecting pay and working conditions. The union is asking for increased funding to schools and education, guaranteed terms and conditions in all types of schools, and for negotiations on teacher contracts to be resumed – which will allow workloads to be addressed.

    Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said: ‘In light of the huge funding cuts to schools, worsening terms and conditions, and unmanageable and exhausting workloads, teachers cannot be expected to go on without significant change.’

    ‘As a result of school funding cuts, class sizes in primary and secondary schools are increasing, subject choices are being cut, and children are getting less individual attention as teachers and support staff are made redundant or not replaced when they leave.’

    The union is very aware of the disruption it may cause to parents, but feel it is an important issue that needs attention now.

    ‘The NUT is aware that strike action can be disruptive to parents and carers and for that we wholeheartedly apologise’, continued Courtney. ‘Equally, teachers do not take strike action lightly. The problems facing education, however, are too great to be ignored and we know many parents share our concerns.’

    What does this mean for you?

    The Department for Education (DfE) issued industrial action guidance for school leaders as thousands of schools will close, or partially close in response to the strike action on Tuesday.

    They have said that headteachers must take ‘all reasonable steps to keep the school open for as many pupils as possible’. This may mean bringing in volunteers for the day such as scout leaders or football coaches to look after children.

    If you are unsure of whether your child’s school will close do consult your child’s school directly before making other arrangements for them.

    Local information can be found via Twitter or local news, both of which are detailing which schools in local areas will close, and which ones will stay open.

    Will you be affected by the strike action? Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts.