‘Overworked’ teachers are ‘forced’ into strike action

Chemistry Teacher with Students in Class

Chemistry Teacher with Students in Class - Credit: © Royalty-Free/Corbis

A Locking teacher says a ‘lack of respect’ and being ‘overworked’ has forced her profession to strike and children will suffer in the long term if the Government does not change its stance.

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) across the country took part in a strike on Tuesday to protest issues including budget cuts, pensions, pay and workload.

Fourteen schools in Weston, North Somerset and Sedgemoor were affected by the action and were either closed or partially closed.

Claire Nolan, who is a part-time teacher at Locking Primary School, told the Mercury the job is hard enough for her, let alone those teachers who take on the job full-time.

She said: “Teachers are overworked. I have to do it part-time as it is so tough. Funding is being cut, which puts pressure on teachers.

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“We want to be told by the Government we will be given a certain amount of money for our schools.

“It is a bit of a dichotomy. It is hard to get it across to parents. We have had some support from parents but there will of course be complaints about the school closing.

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“We have to do it as the Government has pushed us to this action. There has been a lack of respect for teachers. They are telling the public one thing but it is the children who are suffering.”

The NUT issued a ballot on strike action, in which more than 90 per cent of respondents voted in favour. The turnout for this ballot was 24.5 per cent.

Jon Reddiford, North Somerset division secretary of the NUT, said: “The Department for Education is being entirely disingenuous when it says that our action is about levels of pay.

“The NUT is taking strike action in response to the funding crisis in our schools.

“Pay systems are now being decided at school level. This is a monumental waste of headteachers’ time.

“Schools urgently need extra funding to meet the additional costs. Teachers do not take strike action lightly. We need investment in education, not harmful cuts.”

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