Teacher strike will have ‘significant impact’ on Redbridge schools, union says

A strike planned by two of the country’s biggest teacher unions is necessary to safeguard the profession, according to a Redbridge union representative.

Kashif Mallick, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) borough’s representative, said the strike, planned for October 17, was about the quality of teaching.

If the strike goes ahead, it is expected that numerous primary and secondary schools around the borough will be forced to close for the day.

Mr Mallick said: “If we have payment by results it will stop teachers being moved up the pay scale and that will have a huge impact on teaching as a whole. To get performances related pay people will not think of it like a career.”

The strike is being organised by the NUT and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, who between them claim to represent 80 per cent of teachers.

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It is over a long-running row over pay, pensions and workload.

Teachers are “angry, frustrated and concerned” about the government’s reforms the unions said.

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London representative of the NUT Bob Stapley said the strike would have a significant impact on schools.

But he was keen to emphasise that the strike does not need to go ahead if the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove listens to the unions’ concerns.

“It will have a significant impact and is likely to be very disruptive to the majority of secondary and primary schools and will unfortunately result in quite a number of schools being shut” Mr Stapley added.

Mr Gove wrote to both unions in March to say he was willing to meet them to discuss their dispute, but also insisted that the “direction of travel” on both their key issues was “fixed”.

Under the government’s reforms, due to come into effect from this autumn, teachers’ pay will be linked to performance in the classroom - with schools setting salaries rather than following a national framework.

Changes have also been made to public sector pensions.

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