Schools could close next week when ‘more than 100,000 teachers’ strike

NEU teachers outside Downing Street.

Some 143,000 union members voted in favour of industrial action (Picture: Shutterstock)

‘Lots of schools’ in England and Wales may temporarily close next week, as more than 100,000 teachers stage industrial action.

Around 127,000 teachers and 16,000 support staff workers – who are part of the National Education Union (NEU) – voted in favour of strikes.

The walk-outs will begin on February 1.

High numbers of staff joining the strike action mean ‘lots of schools will close’, the union’s general secretary Mary Bousted said.

She said this would be the case particularly ‘in areas where the NEU is the biggest union and has a really strong density, like London’.

The NEU predicts that the upcoming strikes, in February and March, will affect 23,400 schools in total.

Ms Bousted has been encouraged by the recent surge in membership, saying: ‘I think the action will be stronger because we’ve got a bigger membership. People join so they can take part in the action.

‘It’s because there’s a deep and prolonged anger about the circumstances in which they’re working.’

Schools have already seen closures because of teach walkouts in Scotland (Picture: PA)

She added that she believes ‘many more’ than 100,000 will be joining the walkouts next week.

Guidance from the Department for Education suggests agency staff and volunteers could be used to cover classes on strike days.

Head teachers are expected ‘to take all reasonable steps to keep the school open for as many pupils as possible’.

The NEU is required by law to provide schools with the number of members in a workplace ahead of planned strike action, but the union does not have to provide the names of individual members to employers.

The @NEUnion is declaring seven days of strike action in February and March. affecting 23,400 schools in England and Wales. Any individual school will only be affected by four of them. Below is the full list of NEU strike days.👇

It’s time to #PayUp and #SaveOurSchools.

— National Education Union (@NEUnion) January 24, 2023

Ms Bousted said schools will have to make the call whether to stay open or not based on how many NEU members work for them.

Although there are seven days of industrial action planned for next week, the union said any individual school will only be impacted for four days.

Out of 300,000 teachers and support staff NEU members balloted on strikes, 143,000 backed the walkouts.

Conversely, the NAHT school leaders’ union and the NASUWT teachers’ union both failed to achieve the 50% ballot turnout required by law for its members to go out on strike over pay in England.

WATCH: We hope that @GillianKeegan stops this desperate effort to try and undermine the democratic vote of @NEUnion members and instead engages with us in trying to look for a solution to the problem of pay & funding in our schools which is so damaging education. #SaveOurSchools

— National …read more

Source:: Metro


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