DERBYSHIRE: School’s out as teachers go on strike

Teachers from Netherthorpe school.
Teachers from Netherthorpe school.

Hundreds of schools across Derbyshire are closed today as teachers strike.

Staff at 106 schools walked out on Tuesday – leaving scores of parents with a childcare crisis.

The action has been called by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the NASUWT, two of England’s biggest teaching unions.

Teachers are angry about changes to their pensions, increased workloads and Government plans to bring in performance-related pay.

They accused Education Secretary Michael Gove of being “reckless and irresponsible” and not listening to their concerns.

However, the Government criticised the walkout – saying it was damaging to pupils’ education.

Deborah Turner, Derbyshire division secretary of the NUT, said: “We know that the strike, which is a direct result of Mr Gove’s refusal to commit to meaningful negotiation, is supported by the majority of parents and governors and by the wider community.

“We thank everyone for this support.”

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, called the action a “last resort”.

She added: “Teachers deeply regret any disruption to children and families.

“This walkout would have been unnecessary had Mr Gove been prepared to engage in genuine discussions.”

A spokesman for the Department of Education said the strike was “disappointing”.

They added: “Industrial action disrupts pupils’ education, hugely inconveniences parents and damages the profession’s reputation in the eyes of the public at a time when our reforms are driving up standards across the country.”

Plans for a national one-day walkout before Christmas have been announced by the two unions.

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