Amid a challenging period, teachers across England are preparing for more strikes in their pursuit of fair pay and improved working conditions. The National Education Union (NEU) has already organized three regional strikes and five national strike days since February, with the most recent on May 2nd affecting a significant number of schools.
The NEU has announced two more national strike days on July 5th and 7th. The primary demand is for the government to release the recommendations of the independent pay review body, which advises on the appropriate pay raise for teachers in the coming year. The Department for Education, however, warns that further strike action would have detrimental effects on pupil learning.
Looking ahead, the NEU is also re-balloting its members to gauge continued support for strike action during the autumn term. Additionally, the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and the NASUWT are conducting re-ballots in England, as neither union reached the threshold required to hold strikes earlier this year.
The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has also made an unprecedented decision to ballot its members for national strike action in England. Voting will take place from June 19th to July 31st. Any action taken by the ASCL, NASUWT, or NAHT would likely coincide with the NEU’s efforts, which could potentially result in full school closures.
During these strikes, parents may wonder if their child’s school will close. The government advises that schools should open if possible, but the decision ultimately lies with headteachers. Teachers are not obligated to announce their strike plans ahead of time, and there are no specific rules regarding when parents should be informed of any closures.
At the core of the strike action lies the teachers’ demand for fair treatment. Unions are advocating for above-inflation increases in salaries and additional funding to ensure that any pay rises do not come at the expense of existing school budgets.
We previously wrote about the strikes and argued that improving the working conditions of our underappreciated teachers was also a major factor in the dispute. Teachers work long hours, bring work home with them, operate in stressful environments and have increasingly limited support and resources.
Our educators play a leading role in shaping the future of society, and we for one are fully behind them.
This article was written by the TeacherHaven team, help us support education by contributing to our blog, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org