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 we have to take this step because education is in crisis. It’s being destroyed by a Government that doesn’t value us or the job we do for your children.
The Government's own statistics say:
- More teachers than ever before left the job last year.
- More teachers than ever before left prior to retirement.
- The number of head teachers who left before retirement is the highest it’s ever been.
- The gap between the number of new teachers needed and the number actually starting is the worst it has been for decades.
- The number of job vacancies recorded in England’s schools is the highest since 2004.
- The number of children in class sizes over 30 is the biggest ever.
- The pupil : teacher ratio in both secondary and primary schools is among the worst in the OECD. In secondary, only Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico are worse. In primary schools, Chile is doing better than we are.
Your children get one chance at education – their schools need the funds to give them the education they deserve, and teachers and support staff need to be paid properly for the essential work we do.
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.
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.
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.
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan says she wants to stop these strikes, but she hasn’t even talked to us since Easter, when the derisory pay offer made by her department was overwhelmingly rejected by members of all teacher and head teacher unions as being wholly inadequate.
If she wants to stop our strikes, she must restart talks, publish the independent report into teachers’ pay and fully fund a decent pay rise that starts to halt the crisis.
It’s time to do your job, Gill.
Pay Up! Save Our Schools.