37 schools closed by strike action

Teachers on strike outside Cowley International College.
Teachers on strike outside Cowley International College.

TEACHERS from across St Helens went on strike today as part of a nation-wide walk out in protest at changes to the education system.

A handful of staff picketed outside Cowley International College in Dentons Green this morning.

The demonstration, which lasted around two hours, was one of the few to take in St Helens with union leaders holding rallies in Manchester and Liverpool.

In total, 37 of the borough’s schools closed as a result of the walk-out and 19 remained only “partially open”.

Just 11 schools stayed open as normal. They are Rainhill Community Nursery, Pace, the Launchpad Centre, Rivington Primary, Legh Vale Primary, Eccleston Mere Primary, Wargrave CE Primary, District CE Primary, Parish CE Primary, Haydock English Martyrs Primary and St Theresa’s Catholic Primary.

High schools Cowley, Rainhill High, De La Salle, Rainford High, Haydock High and St Augustine’s were closed throughout the day.

The one-day walk-out by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) affected thousands of local students.

Both unions have also indicated their willingness to stage further strikes in the autumn unless the Government agrees to negotiate with them over education reforms.

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.”

A spokesman for the Department of Education said he was “disappointed” at the strike action.