Doncaster teachers walk out over pay changes

John Coward, NUT division secretary.
John Coward, NUT division secretary.
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More than 40 Doncaster schools will be hit by teachers’ strike action today, forcing parents to find childcare or take time off work.

The one-day walkout is a protest over changes to pay, pensions and the Government’s approach to education.

Around 30 schools and academies in the borough will be fully closed all day and a further 13 have confirmed partial closures.

The Government has condemned the strike action but teaching union leaders said school staff are angry at the way the profession is being treated by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

John Coward, Doncaster National Union of Teachers division secretary, said: “All our members have been called out on strike as well as members of the NASUWT, which form about 80 per cent of all teachers.

“The last thing teachers want to do is disrupt children’s education and family life, that isn’t why we came into the profession. We came in to make a difference to children’s lives but we have been forced into this position. The Government refuses to discuss this with us.”

The move has been met with anger by many parents who have had to pay for childcare for the day, or have had to take time off work.

One mum of two, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It’s not acceptable. Parents get a £60 fine for taking children out of school without authorisation yet parents right across the country will be affected by this strike.

“Parents haven’t given authorisation for teachers to take the day off. Can parents fine the school £60 and increase it to £120 if it isn’t paid within 21 days?”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “All strikes will do is disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession.”

Among the schools remaining open is the 146-pupil Grange Lane Infant Academy in Rossington.

A spokesman said that none of the eight members of the teaching staff was going on strike, meaning it would be classes as usual.