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Strike action prompts school closures

By Katia Harston, Chief Reporter Tuesday 25th March 2014

A STRIKE by teachers will see a number of schools in Barnsley close tomorrow.

 

Members of the National Union of Teachers will join national strike action on Wednesday which is expected to close the vast majority of schools in the borough.


The strike is part of a campaign over pay, pensions and workloads and follows a series of regional strikes in the autumn.


Members are concerned 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.


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


Barnsley NUT Secretary, Roy Bowser, said, "Teacher workload is unsustainable, as a recent government survey demonstrates. We demand step-change.


"Teacher morale is at dangerously low levels. Children need teachers who are fresh and well motivated not tired and demoralised.


"All the polls show Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Education) 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."

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