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24 June 2010, 11:27
Teaching union members at Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge are staging industrial action.
Several lessons have been cancelled as picket lines were manned outside the college between 7am and 1:05pm today.
Members of the National Union of Teachers claim they are taking the action over proposals to increase the amount of work they have to do.
In a statement, the local branch of the NUT said: "Teachers are being asked to teach an extra lesson every week instead of delivering part of the tutorial programme.
We would be expected to deliver one and a half more hours of subject teaching whilst maintaining the guidance and support we already deliver through tutorial provision."
NUT members claim these changes will have a negative impact on student's education.
The statement continues: "Subject teaching demands planning and preparation, marking, admin and report writing on top of the contact time.
An increase in subject teaching hours would result in a significant addition to an already unacceptable workload.
National workload surveys suggest teachers already work an average of over 50 hours a week."
The strike has been timed so only the morning teaching session is cancelled.
Lessons will resume during the afternoon session, shortly after 1pm.
The NUT also claims the changes are being made because of the need to reduce staff costs, threatening jobs.
Sandra Hamilton-Fox, principal of Long Road Sixth Form College, said: "This is a very difficult financial environment for everyone and at Long Road we have to do our best with the funds available to us.
We do have to make some changes that affect teaching staff next year.
What we are not doing is asking staff to teach any more hours.
What we are doing is ask that they spend more of their time on examined courses.
We recognise that there will be some increase in tasks associated with examination teaching and in order to balance that increase there will be a reduction in other tasks that staff currently undertake. "