Schools in England and Wales ‘to shut for several days next month’ if strikes go ahead

9 January 2023, 12:03

Teachers could strike next month
Teachers could strike next month. Picture: Getty Images

Most schools in England and Wales will close their doors if teachers win the vote to strike.

The majority of state schools in England and Wales will be shut for several days over the next couple of months if teacher strikes go ahead.

The UK’s biggest teaching union will be voting for industrial action on Friday this week, with the National Education Union (NEU) saying they expect members to vote in favour.

And NEU secretary-general Kevin Courtney has said that action taken by its members would be enough to cause many school closures on strike days.

He told The Observer: “We will call on members in all schools in England and Wales to strike – many would have to close.”

Schools in England could be closed this year
Schools in England could be closed this year. Picture: Getty Images

According to the newspaper, the NEU - made up of 450,000 teachers - is planning walkouts from early February to mid-march and it’s expected to include a mix of national and regional walkouts.

The NEU is asking the government for a 12 per cent pay rise for its members, more than double the 5 per cent offered.

The union claims teachers’ pay has fallen by about 24 per cent relative to inflation since 2010.

Last year, the government said teachers would benefit from pay increases of between 5 per cent and 8.9 per cent from September 2022, after recommendations of the independent School Teachers’ Review Body for this academic year.

Teachers Unions could be closed for several days next month
Teachers Unions could be closed for several days next month. Picture: Getty

Mr Courtney added he thinks most parents would understand the action teachers were taking, telling The Observer: “I think parents are starting to pick up the day-to-day situation in schools – that their child’s maths teacher might never have acquired a maths qualification, that there is such a rapid turnover of teachers all the time, that there is a lot of disruption.”

Meanwhile, Scotland is also set to face a major teaching strike with members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) members walking out on 10th and 11th January, as well as Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) members on the 11th.

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