Teachers across England and Wales are going on strike today (1st Feb) in a dispute over pay. Members of National Education Union (NEU) in all three Downham schools will be taking strike action.
Some 90% of Teachers in England voted in favour of taking strike action, with 53% of ballots returned. The strikes are in relation to a pay dispute with the government who has offered a 5% pay rise. NEU support staff in England were also balloted. However, despite a majority in favour of strike action, support staff did not meet the government’s turnout requirement of 50%.
NEU claim that teachers have lost 23% in their pay in real-terms since 2010. They also have concerns around funding for schools, claiming that “funding for schools has not kept in line with rising costs” which they highlight has impacted recruitment, equipment, extracurricular activities, and support for children with special educational needs and disability.
Bob Groome, Norfolk NEU secretary said “We are having situations in Norfolk where our younger teachers are burdened with Student Loans and high rents, and some are having to use food banks as a result.”
Downham Market Academy and the two primary schools, Nelson Academy and Hillcrest school, all will be impacted by the strikes. Downhamweb reached out to all three schools to ask if they will be closed, but none responded. DMA’s website states “only students in Year 11, 12 and 13 with vulnerable and key worker children from other year groups will be working on site” and all other students should work from home.
The union is asking parents to support their strike action by writing to MPs and local councillors to support funding for education. There are additional teachers strike days planned in the east of England for 1st March, 15th March and 16th March.
Also today across the country rail workers and civil servants are on strike, with further strikes by emergency services, nurses happening next week.