Why we are taking strike action
Children are losing out because there aren’t enough teachers. Education staff are leaving the profession in droves because of a toxic mix of excessive workload and low pay.
We do not want to go on strike – we want to be in the classroom, teaching and supporting our amazing children and young people.
But with one in four teachers leaving the profession within three years of qualifying the education system is falling down around our pupils.
Even when there is a teacher in the classroom, increasingly they are not qualified in the subject they are teaching.
Parents and grandparents hear their children and grandchildren talking about ‘new’ teachers in the middle of the school year, of their favourite teachers leaving. A lack of qualified teachers harms the education children and young people receive. And the situation is getting worse by the day.
During the worst cost of living crisis in memory hardworking teachers have been offered a pay increase of just 5 per cent – with inflation soaring, this adds up to a 7 per cent pay cut.
On top of this, schools aren’t being given enough additional money to fund the 5 per cent on offer – meaning the Government expects your child’s school to pay for it out of its already overstretched budget.
An offer made by the Government in March 2023 was overwhelmingly rejected by members of all teacher and head teacher unions as being wholly inadequate.
The Government missed its target for recruitment of new secondary school teachers by a simply staggering 41 per cent this year and by 11 per cent for primary school teachers. Negotiating a decent pay rise is a necessary step towards resolving the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention.
There’s been a fall of 23 per cent in trainee teacher recruitment in 2022 compared with the year before.
One in eight maths lessons are taught by a teacher not qualified in the subject.
Nearly one third of the teachers who qualified in the last decade have quit.
13 per cent of teachers who qualified in 2019 have already gone.
Managing with fewer staff means we can’t provide enough personal support to your children if they need extra help, or extra provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
We want the Government to negotiate with us. If they really do care about children’s education, then they should talk to us seriously and make the time to negotiate a settlement.