Teachers in England who are members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) are taking strike action today (5 July 2016) in a bid to protect pay and working conditions in schools.
Of the 24.5% of members who took part in the ballot, 91.7% voted in favour of discontinuous strike action.
The industrial action aims to increase funding to schools and education, guarantee terms and conditions in all types of schools, and to resume negotiations on teacher contracts to allow workloads to be addressed.
Kevin Courtney, acting general secretary at the NUT, said: “The NUT is not taking action lightly. In light of the huge funding cuts to schools, worsening terms and conditions and unmanageable and exhausting workloads, teachers cannot be expected to go on without significant change.
“There is already a teacher recruitment and retention crisis in our schools. Without significant change to the pay and working conditions of teachers, this will simply deepen. We know that many parents share our concerns.
“At the absolute minimum, schools urgently need extra funding to meet the additional costs government has put on them through increased national insurance and pension payments.”
In a letter responding to news of the strike action, education secretary Nicky Morgan said: “Removing unnecessary workload for teachers is a priority for this government, and we have made this clear in our discussions. Our extensive work with [the NUT], along with the wider profession, is helping to ensure that teachers can concentrate on what they do best.
“Under the academy system, schools have more flexibility to reward teachers for their hard work, allowing them to keep their best staff and recruit the brightest talent.
“We will always listen and discuss legitimate concerns within the sector and try and resolve them as quickly and fairly as possible.”