Teacher strike to cause chaos

Teachers on strike
Teachers on strike

THOUSANDS of St Helens students will have their summer terms disrupted as teachers push ahead with a mass walk-out.

Two leading unions have told the borough’s schools their plans for members to stage a one-day strike on June 27.

And the action could pose more potential problems for St Helens students with two Leavers’ Balls scheduled on that day. Rainhill High and Hope Academy are staging their prom or awards nights on the day of the strike.

However, council chiefs have vowed to keep as many schools open as possible.

But there could be worse to come as the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) – who account for nine out of 10 teachers – said they plan further strikes in the autumn.

A spokesman for St Helens Council said: “Notification of strike action by the teachers’ unions has just been received and consequently head teachers and chairs of governors will assess the situation at each school to determine the impact locally of this national action.

“Our aim will be to keep as many of our schools open as possible and we will work closely with head teachers to ensure that information is communicated to parents as soon as it becomes available.”

Government refusals to negotiate with teachers and unpopular education reforms are being blamed for the industrial action. The two unions involved in the industrial action include members who teach at both primary and secondary schools.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates, said: “The move to strike action is a manifestation of the anger and frustration of teachers at the failure of the Government to seek to address the deep concerns of the profession.”

NUT’s general secretary Christine Blower, added: “The Government is going down entirely the wrong path for education and teachers. They need to start listening.”

The strikes planned for all over the North West are the first in a series of regional walk-outs the unions have planned. At least one national walk-out has been scheduled for November.

Around 2,765 schools will be affected across 22 local council areas including Lancashire, Wigan and Warrington.

A spokesman for the Department of Education (DoE), said: “We are disappointed that the NUT and NASUWT have decided to take strike action, which less than quarter of teachers actually voted for.

“Industrial action will disrupt pupils’ education, hugely inconvenience parents and damage the profession’s reputation in the eyes of the public at a time when our reforms are driving up standards across the country.”