Union leader says some Northamptonshire schools will close due to strike action

Teachers on strike in Northampton on June 30 ENGNNL00120110630170459
Teachers on strike in Northampton on June 30 ENGNNL00120110630170459

A number of schools in Northamptonshire may be closed next week and others will only be able to open to certain year groups as a result of the NUT teacher’s strike next Wednesday, the union’s county secretary has said.

Gordon White, county secretary of the NUT said the strike was part of a campaign to protect pay, pensions and to ensure a workload that means children receive the best possible teaching.

The latest strike, which the NASUWT teaching union is not taking part in, follows a series of regional strikes in the autumn, including union action in Northamptonshire in October last year.

Mr White said members of the NUT are concerned that government changes will have a damaging effect on education, including teachers working until they are 68 or beyond, increasing pension contributions by 50 per cent and reducing the pension package and introducing performance related pay.

He said: “Teacher workload is unsustainable and the thought of doing the job until 68 is driving many away from the job. Teacher morale is at dangerously low levels.

“Children need teachers who are fresh and well motivated not tired and demoralised. All the polls show that Michael Gove is out of touch with teachers and parents – he must listen and change direction.

“This strike is his fault - teachers do not like taking strike action but they are prepared to lose pay to stand up for education. We hope more and more parents will support us as we stand up for education.”

Mr white said recent figures published by the government showed that teachers in primary schools are working 60 hours a week and said the NUT believes this is too much and is one of the reasons why so many young teachers are leaving the profession.