Some schools set to close as teachers prepare for one-day strike

Flashback to the 2014 NUT teachers' strike - a rally outside the Forum in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Flashback to the 2014 NUT teachers' strike - a rally outside the Forum in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Hundreds of children could have a day off school tomorrow when members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) take part in a national one-day strike.

The union called the walkout over its concerns about school funding and the deregulation of national terms and conditions for teachers, but the government accused it of 'playing politics with children's futures'.

Scott Lyons, joint division secretary for Norfolk NUT, said strike action was a last resort, and although the aim was not to close schools, he knew of at least 10 in the county that had decided to shut.

They include Framingham Earl High, which headteacher Nicola Furneaux said has 17 members of staff who belong to the NUT.

She said: 'Teachers don't take strike action lightly, and are extremely dedicated to the school and the students, but I think their decision to strike is based on real unhappiness with the way education policy and education funding has gone for some time.'

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Catton Grove Primary is also planning to close.

Headteacher Tim Lawes said: 'We took a decision that because a significant number of our staff are NUT members, in the interests of health and safety we could not open the school for the kids.'

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He added that he 'absolutely' agreed with the reasons for the strike being called.

Other schools that have told parents they will close include Kenninghall Primary, Harford Manor School and Colman Junior School.

A Department for Education spokesperson said it was already in 'regular and constructive' talks with the NUT on pay and conditions, and added: 'Industrial action causes disruption to children's education, to their parents who have to take time out of work to arrange childcare and also damages the reputation of the profession.

'We urge the NUT again not to proceed with this action and to work with us to resolve their dispute at the negotiating table instead of playing politics with children's futures.'

The NUT is planning a rally at Chapelfield Garden in Norwich, from 11am to noon, which is said would be 'a fun, relaxed, organic event'.

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