11 facts about today's NUT strike and why it's happening

11 facts about today's NUT strike and why it's happening

11 facts about today's NUT strike and why it's happening

First published in News by , Chief Reporter

1. The strike is the latest in a series of industrial action organised by the NUT over an ongoing dispute with the Government.

2. The NUT says that teachers’ levels of workload are intolerable. The Government’s own survey, published last month, showed that primary school teachers work nearly 60 hours a week and secondary school teachers work nearly 56 hours a week.

3. Two in five teachers leave the professional in the first five years.

4. The NUT disagrees with performance related pay (PRP) which will be introduced in September and will result in increased salaries for teachers who raise pupils’ results.

5. The NUT does not believe that teachers can work to the age of 68 or even later for a full pension.

6. The Department for Education has said the NUT is disrupting parents’ lives and holding back children’s education by staging the strike.

7. The NUT is the largest teaching union and has 326,930 members in England and Wales.

8. Teachers who do strike will not be paid for today in accordance with nationally set legislation.

9. Teachers do not have to inform their headteacher of their intention to strike ahead of the day, meaning that many schools are unable to let parents know of closures in advance.

10. Schools are not allowed to reschedule events from a strike day, such as parents’ evenings.

11. On Tuesday, Michael Gove, secretary of state for education, wrote to seven union bosses setting out the progress he believes has been made in the ongoing talks between the Department for Education and these teaching unions.

Comments (3)

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1:34pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Ex-Abbeyfield Teacher says...

If you are going to publish 'facts' about the strikes, they should at least be accurate.

1) Although there is no requirement for teachers to tell their Headteacher if they are striking, I am yet to meet a teacher who doesn't. Headteachers know fairly accurate numbers (although not always names) of who will be striking. Obviously the numbers could change, but it's unlikely. If the Head doesn't announce their plans early, that is their choice, not because they don't know.

2) Schools ARE allowed to reschedule events - especially Parents' Evenings. They know about the strikes months in advance and are told to seek a way to move the events. If they event isn't moved, it's because the school can't find a space elsewhere in their calendar. Some schools don't change them because they don't want to cause further disruption to parents.

3) Michael Gove does not attend the on-going meetings and talks. He does of course send representatives, but they are not able to make any decisions. Michael Gove outright refuses to listen to the views of teachers and education experts, which is why he can't be bothered to attend the meetings.

4) Can you picture an effective teacher aged 68? Especially the really active subjects like PE?

More reasons for strike action from the NUT:

1 Ensure every classroom has a
qualified teacher
Academies and free schools are now allowed to
employ unqualified teachers. This is a big threat
to standards of education.

2 Allow councils to open new schools
where they are needed
There is a huge pupil place shortage but councils
are not allowed to open new schools. Many
councils are driven to putting portacabins on
school playgrounds to cope. The Government
only allows new “free” schools and these are
often in the wrong place.

3 Make sure changes to the curriculum
and exams are positive and planned
Rushed changes are stressful for children as
well as their teachers. The Government should
start listening to what teachers and education
experts say. It should work with them to develop
an exciting and inspiring curriculum that equips
children for the modern world.

4 Ensure there are enough new teachers –
stop picking fights with the ones we’ve got
Michael Gove keeps criticising teachers.
Morale is plummeting. Five years after qualifying,
2 in every 5 teachers are no longer teaching.
On top of that the current system of training
teachers is under-recruiting. Instead of dealing
with this, Michael Gove keeps attacking our
teachers, who are forced to strike to defend
themselves and education.

5 Get our schools working together and
fund them properly
The evidence shows that schools working
together is best for all children. Financial scandals
at free schools show the dangers of privatisation.
On top of this fragmentation, school 6th forms
and 6th form colleges are facing 20% cuts while
£1.7 billion has been allocated to wasteful and
unnecessary free schools.
If you are going to publish 'facts' about the strikes, they should at least be accurate. 1) Although there is no requirement for teachers to tell their Headteacher if they are striking, I am yet to meet a teacher who doesn't. Headteachers know fairly accurate numbers (although not always names) of who will be striking. Obviously the numbers could change, but it's unlikely. If the Head doesn't announce their plans early, that is their choice, not because they don't know. 2) Schools ARE allowed to reschedule events - especially Parents' Evenings. They know about the strikes months in advance and are told to seek a way to move the events. If they event isn't moved, it's because the school can't find a space elsewhere in their calendar. Some schools don't change them because they don't want to cause further disruption to parents. 3) Michael Gove does not attend the on-going meetings and talks. He does of course send representatives, but they are not able to make any decisions. Michael Gove outright refuses to listen to the views of teachers and education experts, which is why he can't be bothered to attend the meetings. 4) Can you picture an effective teacher aged 68? Especially the really active subjects like PE? More reasons for strike action from the NUT: 1 Ensure every classroom has a qualified teacher Academies and free schools are now allowed to employ unqualified teachers. This is a big threat to standards of education. 2 Allow councils to open new schools where they are needed There is a huge pupil place shortage but councils are not allowed to open new schools. Many councils are driven to putting portacabins on school playgrounds to cope. The Government only allows new “free” schools and these are often in the wrong place. 3 Make sure changes to the curriculum and exams are positive and planned Rushed changes are stressful for children as well as their teachers. The Government should start listening to what teachers and education experts say. It should work with them to develop an exciting and inspiring curriculum that equips children for the modern world. 4 Ensure there are enough new teachers – stop picking fights with the ones we’ve got Michael Gove keeps criticising teachers. Morale is plummeting. Five years after qualifying, 2 in every 5 teachers are no longer teaching. On top of that the current system of training teachers is under-recruiting. Instead of dealing with this, Michael Gove keeps attacking our teachers, who are forced to strike to defend themselves and education. 5 Get our schools working together and fund them properly The evidence shows that schools working together is best for all children. Financial scandals at free schools show the dangers of privatisation. On top of this fragmentation, school 6th forms and 6th form colleges are facing 20% cuts while £1.7 billion has been allocated to wasteful and unnecessary free schools. Ex-Abbeyfield Teacher
  • Score: -5

8:26am Thu 27 Mar 14

JJ38JJ says...

Everyone else has to work until a later age. Why not teachers? As far as the physical demands on an ageing body are concerned I would have thought teaching was easier than average.
In my living memory I have never known a single change or proposed change to education be welcomed by the teaching profession regardless of which party is in government.
Everyone else has to work until a later age. Why not teachers? As far as the physical demands on an ageing body are concerned I would have thought teaching was easier than average. In my living memory I have never known a single change or proposed change to education be welcomed by the teaching profession regardless of which party is in government. JJ38JJ
  • Score: 4

8:38am Thu 27 Mar 14

Buster Preciation says...

The number of hours worked a week is misleading at best. Sure it's high but it is offset by the amount of paid leave which should be factored in. How about adding up the total number of hours worked per year or per average week and then comparing it to other occupations?
As for performance-related pay, it's been around in the private sector for centuries in one form or another. The only people who should be afraid of it are the poor performers. It must be particularly frustrating for higher performers to know their lower performing colleagues are getting equal reward.
The number of hours worked a week is misleading at best. Sure it's high but it is offset by the amount of paid leave which should be factored in. How about adding up the total number of hours worked per year or per average week and then comparing it to other occupations? As for performance-related pay, it's been around in the private sector for centuries in one form or another. The only people who should be afraid of it are the poor performers. It must be particularly frustrating for higher performers to know their lower performing colleagues are getting equal reward. Buster Preciation
  • Score: 5

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