Thousands of schools to close on Wednesday as teachers go on strike over pay and conditions

 

Education Editor

Thousands of schools will either shut down completely or be sending some pupils home when teachers stage a one-day strike next Wednesday, heads warned today.

Members of the Association of School and College Leaders warned that there would be widespread disruption throughout England and Wales as a result of the 24-hour stoppage.

They also rejected suggestions previously made by Education Secretary Michael Gove that they should consider enlisting an army of volunteers to help keep the school going.

Ian Bauckham, president of ASCL, speaking at its annual conference in Birmingham, said: "I would have far more sleepless nights over an army of mums and dads coming in to keep the school open than I would over anything else."

Members of the National Union of Teachers are staging the one-day strike in protest over their pay, pensions and working conditions. In particular, they are incensed over government plans to introduce performance-related pay by giving headteachers the power to set their own staff's salaries.

The second union involved in the dispute, the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, is resisting strike action at this time - but its members have said they will not take the classes of colleagues who are on strike.

Headteachers said that that more than half of the 3,500 secondary schools could be severely disrupted by the strike - as the union represents secondary school heads and deputies. However, the NUT's strength is in the primary sector, so many of the 16,000 primary schools are likely to close as well.

The unions are involved in talks with Mr Gove's department over the dispute but so far these have not shown any sign of a settlement being reached.

The dispute is likely to escalate in the coming months, with both unions holding their annual conferences over Easter. At the NUT conference there are likely to be demands for more militant action from delegates.

The Department for Education has condemned the strikes - saying all they will do is disrupt children's education.

Meanwhile, in his address to the ASCL conference, Mr Bauckham warned that the "culture of celebrity" was stopping young pupils from striving to improve themselves at school.

"We inhabit a culture which idolises celebrity," he said. "Look at TV shows such as X Factor or Britain's Got Talent. The problem with them, to my mind, goes further still than encouraging a reliance on chance to make your fortune.

"The subliminal message is one which says: you either have or you haven't got 'talent' or the 'X Factor'. There is little you can do, we are encouraged to think, if you are one of the unlucky ones."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Learning Support Assistant

£65 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Due to the continual growth and...

Learning Support Assistant - Newport

£65 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Due to the continual growth and...

Learning Support Assistant

£65 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Due to the continual growth and...

Part Time SEN Teacher

£120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you looking for a Part Time S...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz