Teachers' strike affects 10,000 schools

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) walk out over pensions, pay and conditions

Teachers across England and Wales will begin a national strike today, leaving thousands of schools facing disruption and closure in fierce row over pay, pensions and teaching conditions.

The strike, led by the National Union of Teachers, will cause disruptions to some 10,000 schools during the one-day walkout.  

The NUT has been embroiled in a bitter dispute with the Education Secretary Michael Gove for two years. They are particularly incensed by government plans to introduce performance-related pay by giving headteachers the power to set their own staff's salaries.

A proposed one-day national walkout in November by the two unions was called off in the wake of talks with the government and the NASUWT has decided not to take part in this latest round of strike action.

Speaking ahead of the walkout, NUT deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney said the strike was a "last resort" and the union wanted Mr Gove to change his policies on school accountability and the working conditions teachers face.

"We have been trying to persuade Michael Gove to change his mind, he is unwilling," he said.

 

"Michael Gove's policies are exhausting and demoralising teachers and that's very bad and disruptive for education.

"Thousands of good people are leaving the profession, we are building up to a teacher shortage and our children deserve energetic and enthusiastic teachers not demoralised and exhausted ones."

Mr Gove has written to seven union bosses ahead of the action, setting out the progress he believed had been made in an ongoing programme of talks between the DfE and these teaching unions.

In the letter, he said he wanted to underline his commitment to the talks process, adding that he was "encouraged by reports from the meetings so far".

But the NUT said the letter demonstrated how little progress had been made in the talks.

“Mr Gove’s letter shows how little he listens to the concerns of teachers and how little progress has been made in the talks process. His letter confirms why we are right to strike,” Christine Blower, General Secretary of the NUT said.

The walkout has been condemned by the Department for Education (DfE), who said the NUT is taking action that “will disrupt parents' lives, hold back children's education and damage the reputation of the profession".

"Parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the government's measures to let heads pay good teachers more," it said.

"They called for talks to avoid industrial action, we agreed to their request, and talks have been taking place weekly.

"Despite this constructive engagement with their concerns, the NUT is taking action that will disrupt parents' lives, hold back children's education and damage the reputation of the profession."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

AER Teachers: Early Years Teaching Assistant Newham

Negotiable: AER Teachers: Outstanding East London primary school seeking an Ea...

AER Teachers: Southwark primary School looking for teaching assistants

Negotiable: AER Teachers: Southwark primary School looking for teaching assist...

Royal College of Music: Assistant to the Deputy Director & the Director of Research

£24,451 - £27,061 per annum: Royal College of Music: The Royal College of Musi...

Guru Careers: Marketing Analyst / Optimisation Analyst

£35 - £45k DOE + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Optimisation Analyst is...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future