Disruption as teachers take part in strike

Many High Peak schools were closed on Tuesday as teachers went on strike in a row over planned changes to pay, pensions and workloads.

Members of the National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) took part in industrial action across the East Midlands after failing to reach an agreement with the government over the proposed changes.

Several schools, including St Thomas More School in Buxton, New Mills Primary School and Chapel-en-le-Frith High School, were closed to pupils all day, while many others were only partially open.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: “Strike action is a last resort, teachers have been left with no choice but to demonstrate their anger and frustration in the face of their genuine concerns being dismissed and trivialised.

“Teachers of course deeply regret any disruption to children and families. Such action would have been unnecessary had the secretary of state been prepared to engage in genuine discussions.

“Teachers are asking nothing more of the secretary of state than to recognise that their pay and conditions of service are directly linked to the provision of high quality education and that their concerns cannot simply be ignored.”

The unions say teachers are under attack with regard to workload, pensions, pay, conditions and job security and that their professional status is being undermined. They added that they have repeatedly asked the government to enter into urgent discussions about the concerns, but have not yet had constructive negotiations.

Commenting on the strikes on our Facebook page, Heather Birchall said: “We would get fined for taking kids out of school, maybe government should fine teachers for each day lost in education whilst they strike.”

Justin Holmes commented: “Teachers, should be grateful that such a role comes with a good wage and pension!

“Just take a look outside the classroom and maybe you’ll think it’s not so bad teaching our children with all the extras the job brings.”

But Nicholas Guy added: “The worse teachers are treated, the poorer children’s education will be. Teachers have a difficult job that not many people are capable of or would choose to do.”

And Maureen Hession said: “Stand up for your rights or be walked on. Education is the bread and butter of our children’s future. If we want a job well done then teachers need to be paid well .”