Teachers strike: 200,000 walk out in three days of industrial action over pay | UK news

An estimated 200,000 teachers in England and Wales will take part in three days of industrial action as their dispute over pay continues.

Today, members of the National Education Union (NEU) in the north of England will walk out, with most schools expected to restrict access to pupils or close altogether.

On Wednesday, union members in the Midlands and eastern regions of England will strike, with more walkouts in Wales and southern England on Thursday.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: “I think the majority of schools will be affected by the dispute – some with full closures and many with partial closures.

“Some secondary schools will close completely, others will have specific year groups and a similar pattern to many primary schools.”

Education secretary Gillian Keegan said: “As a government, we have made a serious offer to the leaders of the National Education Association and the Royal College of Nursing: to stop this week’s strikes, to discuss and talk about pay, conditions and reform.

“It is very disappointing that the NEU has so far refused this serious offer and has not joined the Royal College of Nursing in calling off the strikes.

“Instead of sitting around the table discussing pay, the NEU will once again cause disruption for children and families.

“Children deserve to go to school and further strike action is simply inexcusable, especially after everything children have been through due to the pandemic.”

Read more:
Targeted teacher strikes in Scotland begin after latest pay offer rejected
Strikes: Who takes industrial action and when?

Mr Courtney said: “I think the Government is fundamentally wrong to think that industrial relations are resolved by telling people you can’t strike if you want to talk to us.

“We are willing to meet anytime, anywhere and we would really hope that he will meet with us after these regional strikes and come up with something serious which is an offer that we can make to members.

“That’s what we would like in an ideal world, to find a solution that means we don’t go ahead with these strikes in March.”

More national walkouts are due to take place in England and Wales on March 15 and 16.

National Education Union (NEU) strikers and supporters in Regents Street, marching from Portland Place in Westminster to rally against the government's controversial plans for a new law on minimum service levels during strikes.  Photo date: Wednesday, February 1, 2023.

On the first day of NEU members’ strikes – February 1 – Department for Education figures showed 44.7% of state schools in England were open but restricting attendance, while 9.3% were closed.

Only 17.4% of secondary schools reported being fully open during teacher strikes, compared to 52.1% of primary schools.

Teachers and headteachers in Northern Ireland went on strike for 12 hours last week as part of their pay dispute, and teachers at the Education Institute of Scotland (EIS) and NASUWT unions will also begin a wave of national strikes on Tuesday.

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