October 24 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
At least 12 schools in Suffolk re thought to be closed this morning as teachers’ strike in opposition to reforms to their pay and conditions.
Last night, the council said a further 50 schools would be partially closed. These do not include academies or free schools.
The number of school closures was expected to change, however the total number of schools affected is thought to be less than during the last teachers’ strike in October when NASUWT also struck.
Essex County Council confirmed that 37 schools were due to closed with 68 partially closed..
Teachers are striking over the introduction of a performance-related pay structure and a tougher pensions package which would see them receive their pension at the age of 67.
The secretary of Suffolk NUT, Graham White, said: “It’s very regrettable that we need to take this action but we are left with no option, we are still waiting for Mr Gove to get around the table and discuss these proposals.
“There has been a meeting with the Department of Education to which Mr Gove did not turn up. He is not prepared to discuss the dispute.
“He’s prepared to discuss how we implement the pension changes but not whether they should be implemented, which seems to me not to be a very helpful attitude.”
However Councillor Lisa Chambers, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education, skills and young people, said the dispute was a national one and children in Suffolk shouldn’t be dragged into it.
“Many people will ask how teachers can justify going on strike over pay and workload concerns at the same time as wanting to improve educational attainment,” she said.
“On the relatively rare occasions that teachers go on strike, we support heads and encourage them to plan ahead and aim to keep schools open wherever possible. We know that many teachers won’t actually want to strike and will work with heads to keep their schools running.”