Teachers announce one day strike

Sam Ud-din
Sam Ud-din

Teachers in the Lancaster district are going on strike to “fight to provide the best possible education for children”.

National Union of Teachers (NUT) members are due to strike on Wednesday March 26 in a row over workload, performance-related pay, pensions, and the government’s approach to education provision in the UK.

A number of school have already announced closures due to the strike action.

Many parents are angry that teachers are striking when the perception is often that they get lots of holidays and early finishes, but Sam Ud-din, Lancaster, Morecambe and District NUT Association secretary, said this was far from the reality. He said: “To the parents we apologise for the inconvenience but we’re trying to stand up for education.

“Michael Gove is saying you don’t need to have a qualified teacher in a classroom. We’re saying that’s wrong. We want to provide the best possible education, and sometimes you have to fight for that.

“Secondary school teachers are working on average six hours longer a week since 2010, from 50 - 56 hours, and primary even more, from 50 - 59 hours.

“The survey was taken over 17 weeks including four weeks holidays as well.

“All teachers who strike lose their pay for that day, but this is important.”

Parents are also up in arms about new rules stopping them from taking their children on holiday during term time.

But Mr Ud-din said: “The decisions on this are made by the management of the school under the direction of Michael Gove. We would actually say that education in the round, including going abroad to meet new people and experience new cultures, is what’s important. We would ask for a fairer balance for what’s important in a child’s life.”

He added: “Michael Gove seems to want our children taught like those in Shanghai, ranking them from best to worst. He doesn’t want all children to be fully educated. He just wants them to do the job he wants them to do.”

Mr Ud-din added that currently 40 per cent of newly qualified teachers are leaving the profession after five years.

The county council said that schools would decide on whether to close because of the strikes.