Loads of schools here in England will be closed today or face disruption as members of the National Unition of Teachers stage a one-day strike over school funding. For a brief moment, I thought I woke up in France. The French tend to go on strike…and of course they should. Respect.
Anyway, NUT acting leader Kevin Courtney indicated that school budgets were not keeping pace with rising costs. Uh oh. Not good. As a response, the NUT is staging regional marches and rallies in support of the strike (which is also about pay and workloads). Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said the strike was “unnecessary” and “harmful.” Well, she would say that-wouldn’t she? Courtney later indicated that ” teachers do not take strike actions lightly” and he “wholeheatedly apologised” for disruption to parents. Nice, but am guessing that already busy Mum’s need help with their little ones today and not apologies. Courtnery also added,”The strike is about the underfunding of our schools and the negative impact it is having on children’s education and teachers’ terms and conditions.” Further, Mr Courtney said it meant teaching posts were being cut or not filled and that class sizes would have to be increased” as reported to the BBC.
In addition, the NUT points to an analysis by the Institute of Fiscal Studies which says school budgets will be reduced by about 8% in real terms by 2020.But Mrs Morgan criticised the strike plan, saying it will “harm children’s education” and inconvenience parents. Further, Morgan said that the walkout would “damage the profession’s reputation in the eyes of the public” and accused the union of “playing politics with children’s futures”. Yikes. A bit scaremongering but she kind of has a point. Later, the education secretary, writing to Mr Courtney, said: “I am sorry that you have chosen the path of disruption over negotiation and discussion.” Another genteel apology I see.
About a quarter of NUT members voted in the strike ballot – but 91% of those people supported strike action. That is all.