Teachers across Kent strike as part of industrial action by members of NASUWT and NUT over pay and working conditions
Thousands of schoolchildren across the county are unable to go to school today as teachers take strike action.
More than 80 of the county’s schools were expected to be either fully or partially closed as members of NASUWT and NUT went on strike to protest at government changes to their pay, pensions and working conditions.
Many schools have opted to close their doors to all pupils as a contingency, while others said they would only be open for certain year groups.
Many schools are shutting because of striking teachers
Heads are not allowed to close schools in sympathy with the strikers, but neither can they keep them open if they have too few staff to ensure the safety of pupils.
John Walder of the Kent branch of the NUT acknowledged the action would inconvenience many families but said the government had refused to negotiate.
“I sympathise and accept it is inconvenient but teachers will be also be inconvenienced and will also have the same problems.
Pupils might not be able to go to school during the strike
"But it is a price that we are having to pay - there is a serious issue here.”
Unions say education secretary Michael Gove is refusing to engage in meaningful talks to address their concerns about four key issues: cuts to pay and pensions; workload and job cuts.
Cllr Roger Gough (Con), Kent County Council cabinet member for education, said: “The county council’s priority is to provide education and will remain our focus during industrial action.
"I know some parents will be frustrated about schools being fully or partly closed and I understand this is disruptive.
"However, schools are not able to open when several staff are missing because of safe working rules. Neither can schools tell teachers who belong to a union not to be involved in a strike if they choose to.”
Full details on Kent school closures are available here. For more Medway school closures, click here.
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