Disruption as teachers' strike begins in Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Epping Forest.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Teachers and supporters at a rally in Walthamstow Town Square this morning during the strike.. Buy this photo Teachers and supporters at a rally in Walthamstow Town Square this morning during the strike..

Pupils across Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Epping Forest were facing disruption to lessons today as teachers joined rallies, marches and picket lines to protest against changes to their pay, pensions and working conditions.

The one-day walkout, called by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) - one of the biggest teaching unions - is the latest move in its continuing campaign of industrial action.

The NUT said it expected the industrial action to close the majority of schools.

Union leaders said the early indications were that the strike was well-supported.

Redbridge Council say 22 schools will be fully closed and a further 36 will be partially closed.

Waltham Forest Council expect around 65 schools to be closed or partially closed.

It is believed more than 1000 teachers in the Epping Forest district are set to strike, but information has not been relseased on which schools will close for the day.

The action has been condemned by the Department for Education which says that it will disrupt parents' lives and damage children's education.

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: "Certainly the message we are getting is that the action is well-supported. On the back of the 60-hour week workload diary survey teachers are just feeling overwhelmed."

She said rallies and marches are taking place all over the country and that "people will be out and about".

Ms Blower said the NUT has been staging events around the country on a weekly basis for some time to tell the public about their campaign and the issues they are highlighting.

"We are saying that very bad things are happening to education and (Education Secretary) Michael Gove needs to listen."

The NUT's bitter dispute with the Government focuses on three issues - changes to pay, pensions and workload.

The walkout could affect thousands of schools across the two nations, and force many to close their doors to some or all pupils.

The DfE has said parents will "struggle to understand" why the NUT was pressing ahead with its strike.

A spokesman said: "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."

Yesterday, David Cameron's official spokesman said the Prime Minister would call on teachers not to strike because the action "disrupts children's education and children's families".

Mr Gove yesterday wrote to seven union bosses setting out the progress he believed had been made in talks between the DfE and teaching unions. In it, he said he wanted to underline his commitment to the talks process, but the NUT said the letter showed how little progress had been made in the talks.

The NUT has been embroiled in its dispute with the Government for more than two years, and staged a series of regional strikes with the NASUWT teaching union last year.

Between them they represent the vast majority of teachers.

A proposed one-day national walkout in November by the two unions was called off and the NASUWT has decided not to take part in today's strike.

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:43am Wed 26 Mar 14

Villagecranberry says...

Strikes are old hat, they should put children first instead of disrupting parents lives.
Strikes are old hat, they should put children first instead of disrupting parents lives. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -6

11:25am Wed 26 Mar 14

stickmanny says...

Gove is old hat he should put children first instead of ruining their lives.
Gove is old hat he should put children first instead of ruining their lives. stickmanny
  • Score: 4

11:37am Wed 26 Mar 14

ania55 says...

Can someone please tell me why they have another day off on top on their 13 weeks of holiday a year? How a working parent with 5 week annual leave is supposed to find childcare for yet another day??
Can someone please tell me why they have another day off on top on their 13 weeks of holiday a year? How a working parent with 5 week annual leave is supposed to find childcare for yet another day?? ania55
  • Score: 2

1:39pm Wed 26 Mar 14

stickmanny says...

ania55 wrote:
Can someone please tell me why they have another day off on top on their 13 weeks of holiday a year? How a working parent with 5 week annual leave is supposed to find childcare for yet another day??
Teachers work as hard as you do.

The 'day off' is unpaid and I'm sure they would rather, like you, be at work.

Gove, and the historically poor education system in this country, are failing our children. At least the NUT is standing up and saying it. You aren't. No one else is.
[quote][p][bold]ania55[/bold] wrote: Can someone please tell me why they have another day off on top on their 13 weeks of holiday a year? How a working parent with 5 week annual leave is supposed to find childcare for yet another day??[/p][/quote]Teachers work as hard as you do. The 'day off' is unpaid and I'm sure they would rather, like you, be at work. Gove, and the historically poor education system in this country, are failing our children. At least the NUT is standing up and saying it. You aren't. No one else is. stickmanny
  • Score: -3

3:53pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Villagecranberry says...

stickmanny wrote:
ania55 wrote:
Can someone please tell me why they have another day off on top on their 13 weeks of holiday a year? How a working parent with 5 week annual leave is supposed to find childcare for yet another day??
Teachers work as hard as you do.

The 'day off' is unpaid and I'm sure they would rather, like you, be at work.

Gove, and the historically poor education system in this country, are failing our children. At least the NUT is standing up and saying it. You aren't. No one else is.
If Gove is failing them, what did Labour do in 13 years except socially engineer millions of pupils into no hope degree courses in subjects like 'film' 'media' and 'football studies?' Education, education education, they said, what tosh.

As a result of these Labour failings there was a vacuum of realistic job opportunities that 'graduates' with worthless qualifications either refused to fill or though they were too over qualified for such menial roles.

These jobs of course were readily and enthusiastically filled by immigrants who jumped at the chance of having some real wages at the end of the week.
[quote][p][bold]stickmanny[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ania55[/bold] wrote: Can someone please tell me why they have another day off on top on their 13 weeks of holiday a year? How a working parent with 5 week annual leave is supposed to find childcare for yet another day??[/p][/quote]Teachers work as hard as you do. The 'day off' is unpaid and I'm sure they would rather, like you, be at work. Gove, and the historically poor education system in this country, are failing our children. At least the NUT is standing up and saying it. You aren't. No one else is.[/p][/quote]If Gove is failing them, what did Labour do in 13 years except socially engineer millions of pupils into no hope degree courses in subjects like 'film' 'media' and 'football studies?' Education, education education, they said, what tosh. As a result of these Labour failings there was a vacuum of realistic job opportunities that 'graduates' with worthless qualifications either refused to fill or though they were too over qualified for such menial roles. These jobs of course were readily and enthusiastically filled by immigrants who jumped at the chance of having some real wages at the end of the week. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 3

10:44pm Wed 26 Mar 14

answer= says...

People that become Teachers, do it as they couldn,t hold down a job in the real world.
People that become Teachers, do it as they couldn,t hold down a job in the real world. answer=
  • Score: -4

10:09pm Thu 27 Mar 14

snacker says...

answer= wrote:
People that become Teachers, do it as they couldn,t hold down a job in the real world.
But they can construct a sentence and know when to use an apostrophe rather than a comma.
[quote][p][bold]answer=[/bold] wrote: People that become Teachers, do it as they couldn,t hold down a job in the real world.[/p][/quote]But they can construct a sentence and know when to use an apostrophe rather than a comma. snacker
  • Score: 2

11:28am Fri 28 Mar 14

T. Watts says...

answer= wrote:
People that become Teachers, do it as they couldn,t hold down a job in the real world.
Yeah, I think you'd last about 30 seconds in a classroom full of children...
[quote][p][bold]answer=[/bold] wrote: People that become Teachers, do it as they couldn,t hold down a job in the real world.[/p][/quote]Yeah, I think you'd last about 30 seconds in a classroom full of children... T. Watts
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree