Teachers stage one-day strike in defiance of Education Secretary

Thousands of schools close as staff members protest Michael Gove’s refusal to open dialogue on pay, pensions and workload

Teachers in 49 local authorities are today staging a one-day strike in opposition to planned government reforms on pay, pension and workload.

At least 2,500 schools are closed or partially closed across the East of England, the East Midlands, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside

The strike is part of continuing action by teaching unions NUT and NASUWT. Unions and teachers hope to draw attention to grievances felt over a set of new reforms set to be put in place by Education Secretary Michael Gove and the Department of Education.

Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said teachers had been "left with no choice but to demonstrate" after Mr Gove refused to open a meaningful dialogue with concerned teachers.

Ms Keates said many teachers are concerned by planned reforms that will affect their pay, pension and future workload.

One proposed reform will see the age at which teachers are able to receive their pension increase to 66 by 2020, 67 between 2026 and 2029, and 68 between 2044 and 2046. Previously, teachers were given the option to take their pension at the age of 60.

The Department of Education also proposes to introduce a grace in favour system, which would see headmasters given the power to raise or freeze teachers salaries as they saw fit.

Ms Keates said strike action was also a result of the government’s plans to drop PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) qualifications as a pre-requisite for employment in state education.

The NASUWT general secretary said it “should be of major concern to parents” that staff members in schools would no longer require qualified teacher status.

The strike, which is the latest in a series of regional-based walkouts for teachers starting in the North West on 27 June, also follows a two year pay freeze for state school teachers.

The Department of Education called the strike “disappointing”, saying it would cause thousands of parents to take the day off work in order to look after their children.

Ms Keates said teachers had previously tried petitions, lobbies of parliament and rallies on Saturdays  to draw attention to their concerns but had been disappointed by the lack of response from Mr Gove and the Department of Education.

NUT general secretary Christine Blower reiterated the point: “No teacher takes strike action lightly but the intransigence of this Education Secretary has left teachers with no choice.

”We cannot stand by and watch our profession be systematically attacked and undermined. There needs to be a change in the Government's attitude to teachers and education.“

More strikes are expected to take place on 17 October in the North East, South East, South West and London.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
people
News
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
people
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

Recruitment Genius: Nursery Practitioner - Faringdon

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: We currently have an opportunity for you to jo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Developer - Cirencester - £29,000

£25000 - £29000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have be...

Recruitment Genius: Primary School Sports Coach

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Calling all talented Level 2 qu...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us