Teacher walks-outs will coincide with Norfolk Show holiday

A union last night said it was a 'happy coincidence' that many of the county's schoolchildren will be enjoying the Royal Norfolk Show on the day teachers are set to strike.

But the industrial action by angry teachers, who feel betrayed by the government, will still disrupt a small number of schools and many important training days.

Members of the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers across the country are set to walk out on June 30 in protest over changes to their pensions.

It is the same day Norfolk County Council has declared a school holiday for most of the county's pupils to allow youngsters to visit the Royal Norfolk Show without skipping lessons.

Last night, Andrew McCandlish, Norfolk branch secretary for the ATL, described it was a 'happy coincidence'. He said: 'It means for most schools it will not affect our pupils and, because it doesn't damage them in any way, shape or form, it's got to be a good thing.'

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But both unions stressed the anger felt by their members, who are still keen to ensure their message gets through to the government and parents.

Kendra Deacon, from the NUT, said some teachers would be disappointed that their demonstration would now not be as visible to the public.

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But she said there were plans in place to hold rallies in Norwich and King's Lynn on June 30 and the union was also looking at handing out information to parents and children at the Royal Norfolk Show.

Alison Thomas, the county council's member for children's services, said she was pleased the strike action would not have a direct impact on Norfolk pupils.

She said: 'However, very many schools will be holding teacher training days and will, therefore, expect their staff to attend. We will shortly be providing advice to headteachers on what to do if staff choose to go on strike.'

The NUT and ATL said strike action was a last resort. They are set to prepare for further walk-outs in the autumn.


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