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Schools closed as teachers strike

St Columba's School in Halcot Avenue, Bexleyheath, is one of seven fully closed due to strike action
St Columba's School in Halcot Avenue, Bexleyheath, is one of seven fully closed due to strike action

SEVEN schools are closed and 23 are partially closed because of strike action over pay by Bexley teachers.

Members of the NUT have taken the action because of a dispute with the Government over a below-inflation pay rise.

The union argues that the 2.4 per cent pay rise, rising to 2.3 per cent next year and again the year after that, is not enough.

Divisional secretary of Bexley Teachers’ Assocation (NUT) Jill Saunder said it had an impact on teachers leaving their jobs.

She said: “Teachers’ pay is not keeping pace at the rate of inflation and they are struggling like all pubic sector workers to buy housing, afford rent, rising gas prices and food.

“It is a graduate profession and in general the average salary is £3,000 less than other equivalent salaries.

“Information from the Teacher Development Agency shows us 50 per cent of teachers leave within three years. That’s a massive amount.

“It’s very heartbreaking for a teacher who has spent four years training and three years in a job to have to leave and it’s not good for our country that it’s happening.”

All Bexley teachers involved in the strike will be heading to central London to join in the march past Downing Street and will be brandishing their own banner.

The seven schools closing today include one secondary school: St Columba’s; two special schools: Shenstone and Woodside; three primary: Brampton, Barnehust and Dulverton; and one infant: East Wickham.

Those partially closed are secondary: Welling, Cleeve Park, Bexleyheath; special: Marlborough; primary: Belmont, Belvedere Juniors, Belvedere Infants, Burnt Oak, Crook Log, Danson, Days Lane, East Wickham Junior, Fosters, Gravel Hill, Hillsgrove, Hook Lane, Jubilee, Northend, Royal Park, Slade Green, St Thomas Moore and Upland.

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