SCHOOLS face closing their doors within days as teachers launch a string of strikes.
The decision on whether they will be open or not is left with head teachers in England, local councils in Scotland, and head teachers in consultation with local authorities in Wales.
2Teachers are set to walk outCredit: PAParents and guardians are entitled to time off if normal arrangements are broken, but it would be up to the employer if they would pay for this time off.
In February and March strikes will take place across SEVEN days.
On February 1 school staff in England and Wales will stage their first walkout.
Then, strikes will go ahead on a regional basis on February 14 and 28, and March 1, 2.
Finally, nationwide walkouts in England and Wales will take place on March 15 and 16.
Exact dates and locations teachers will strike in February and March
Wednesday 1 February 2023: teachers in England and Wales.
Tuesday 14 February 2023: teachers in Wales.
Tuesday 28 February 2023: teachers in Northern England and Yorkshire & The Humber.
Wednesday 1 March 2023: teachers in Eastern England, the East and West Midlands.
Thursday 2 March 2023: teachers in London, the South East and South West.
Wednesday 15 March 2023: teachers in England and Wales.
Thursday 16 March 2023: teachers in England and Wales.
Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union, previously said: “We have continually raised our concerns with successive education secretaries about teacher and support staff pay and its funding in schools and colleges, but instead of seeking to resolve the issue they have sat on their hands.
“It is disappointing that the Government prefers to talk about yet more draconian anti-strike legislation, rather than work with us to address the causes of strike action.”
Blasting NEU members’ decision to abandon pupils by striking, former Education Minister Jonathan Gullis said: “The result is a sad day for parents, especially those on low incomes who will be forced to lose a day’s pay if schools close, and a life damaging day for pupils, who continue to made to suffer at the hands of union bosses who don’t care about the futures of our young people.”
He added: “I hope teachers do the right thing, go into school, and continue to transform the life chances of young people for the better across our great country.”
Teachers are the latest public sector workers to threaten strike action due to a major dispute over pay.
Ministers have offered experienced staff a 5% hike and new teachers an 8.9% rise for this year.
But union chiefs want salaries up by an inflation busting 12%.
Last week further school strikes were avoided after not enough teachers belonging to the NASWUT union balloted for industrial action.
While 88.5% voted in favour, only 42% of members turned out to vote – below the legal threshold of 50%.
Union bosses last night gave the Government two weeks to up their pay offer or face huge disruption next month.
But they were slammed for hurting pupils still scrambling to catch up after lockdown.
Cabinet Minister Mark Harper warned more time out of lessons was “the last thing” kids needed.
He blasted: “Any strikes, anything disrupting children’s education, would be very regrettable.”
The prospect of school strikes comes as teachers in Scotland today began 16 days of strike action.
Meanwhile, ambulance workers, nurses and rail staff remain locked in major pay disputes with the government.
Last week thousands of ambulance workers walked out of work for the second time in one month.
And on Wednesday thousands of nurses will withdraw their labour from the NHS.
School strikes are set to leave hard-pressed parents either forking out for childcare or taking time off work.
Former teacher and Tory MP Brendan Clarke-Smith said: “Children and their parents shouldn’t have to suffer because of the politicised actions of left-wing union leaders.
“I’m sure most teachers agree, which is why the recent NASUWT strike ballot failed to reach the required threshold.
“Other groups such as the NEU now need to realise that too, rather than playing politics with the prospects of our pupils.
“Unions also need to consider the effect this will have on childcare and therefore the wider economy.”
Conservative MP Miriam Cates added: “I think teacher strikes would be absolutely appalling, especially after the pandemic.
“If we didn’t have clear evidence on the harms of missing school before Covid, then we certainly do now — and to knowingly put children through that again is morally wrong.”
The independent Children’s Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souz said she’s “disappointed” with today’s result.
“I know the decision to strike will not have been taken lightly for any teacher, and the vote has been far from unanimous – but it comes in the wake of huge disruption from the pandemic and will add to the challenges already faced by so many pupils who are catching up on lost learning.
“I urge those choosing to take industrial action to take all possible steps to minimise the impact on children and families.
“I am grateful to all those teachers and support staff who continue to prioritise their pupils’ wellbeing and I want to see an end to the dispute as soon as possible.”
216 days of rolling action by teachers in Scotland began todayCredit: PA
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk