Thousands of schools were closed on Tuesday as members of the two biggest teaching unions escalated their protest against Government reforms including performance related pay. On the same day Michael Gove praised teachers, but accused their unions of putting ideology over pupils’ interests.
At least 2,500 state schools across a large part of northern and central England were shut as members of the NUT and NASUWT took part in the latest wave of regional strikes, the Telegraph reports.
Tuesday’s action affected schools in 49 local authorities and the NUT’s Christine Blower described it as a ‘huge success’. “There can be no doubt left about the feeling of anger towards this government’s treatment of the teaching profession,” she said. “Strike action is never a step that teachers take lightly and we are very aware and concerned about the inconvenience it causes parents. Unfortunately we are faced with a coalition government that is refusing to listen to the reasonable demands of the profession.”
As many teachers gathered for marches and rallies, Michael Gove thanked the profession for transforming schools, but accused teaching unions of standing in the way of progress in his speech to the Conservative party conference. “…there is one group of people who I can’t thank. They’re the people who are standing in the way of progress. They’re the people who are the enemies of promise.”
A further regional strike is planned for the 17th October, with plans for a national one-day walkout before Christmas.
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