UP TO 5,000 teachers across Warwickshire are expected to go on strike today (Tuesday) forcing closures at nearly 100 schools.
In Stratford-upon-Avon, Thomas Jolyffe Primary School, Stratford Primary School, Stratford School, and Stratford Girls’ Grammar School are all partially closed because of union strikes.
Most year groups at Shipston High School and Kineton High School are off, whilst there are full closures at Bidford Primary School, Henley School, St Nicholas C.E Primary school in Alcester, Wilmcote Primary School, Dunnington Primary School, Hampton Lucy Primary School, and Salford Priors Primary School.
Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) are striking over pay, pensions, and workloads.
Martin McMahon, NUT Secretary for Warwickshire, told the Herald: “The clearest reason for strike action remains the Government's position on teachers' pensions.
"According to a valuation of the fund commissioned by the NUT in 2010, between 1923 and 2010 teachers paid into the fund £46 billion more than they withdrew; yet this government insists that teachers must pay more, work longer and get less.”
A teacher at Kenilworth School, he said what teachers get paid is putting off able graduates from entering the profession.
“A further local issue is that many young teachers in Stratford already find it impossible to live in the area because they cannot afford housing,” he added.
“This weakens the link between those teachers and the communities they serve.”
The NUT has around 2,500 members in Warwickshire and the NASUWT has slightly more. Mr McMahon expects the majority of these to go on strike.
He said: “Strike action is a last resort against a Westminster government which refuses to engage in meaningful talks.
"A government which speaks of the continuing need for austerity for all, while conniving at the continuation of the bonus culture for failed bankers and at tax avoidance schemes for billionaires.”
In many cases, head teachers have endeavoured to keep their schools open.
Lyn Chatwin, Head of Stratford Primary School, said: “The decision to close the school, either fully or partially, is never taken lightly, but where staff have decided to take lawful industrial action I am taking appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of my pupils.”
Kate Barnett, Headteacher at Stratford Girls' Grammar School, said: “There will be some impact on lessons and we are managing the situation so as to minimise disruption to school routine as much as possible."
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