October 23 2014 Latest news:
Story by: JOHN ELWORTHY
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Only one school across Fenland has been closed today because of the strike by the National Union of Teachers.
Orchards Primary School, Wisbech, is the only confirmed full closure from the list of 75 affected schools across Cambridgeshire.
Most of the rest remain open although some are what Cambridgeshire County Council describes as “partially open” and these are:
* Alderman Jacob Primary Whittlesey
* Clarkson Infants Wisbech
* Elm Primary
* Kingsfield Primary, Chatteris
* Neale Wade Community College
* St Peter’s Junior, Wisbech
* Westwood Junior, March
The NUT is striking over pay, pensions and working conditions among other issues which the union says is affecting their members.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said: “Teachers deeply regret the disruption caused by this strike action to parents and teachers. The Government’s refusal, however, to engage to resolve the dispute means that we have no alternative other than to demonstrate the seriousness of our concerns.
“Teachers’ levels of workload are intolerable –the Government’s own survey, published last month, shows that primary school teachers work nearly 60 hours a week and secondary school teachers work nearly 56 hours a week. Two in five teachers are leaving the profession in the first five years of teaching as are many others. This is bad for children and bad for education.”
The Government has branded the strike as bad for children’s education and unpopular with parents.
A Department for Education spokesman said: “Parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the Government’s measures to let heads pay good teachers more.
“They called for talks to avoid industrial action, we agreed to their request, and talks have been taking place weekly.
“Despite this constructive engagement with their concerns, the NUT is taking action that will disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession.”