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Teachers strike set to close dozens of schools in region
DOZENS of schools in the region will close next month as teachers strike in a row over conditions and changes within education.
Members of the NUT and NASUWT in North Yorkshire will walk out on Tuesday with union leaders expecting the majority of schools in the county to be affected.
A further day of action is planned in the North-East on October 17 with similar levels of disruption predicted.
Union officials say the strike is a last resort after two years of attacks on their profession by Education Secretary Michael Gove.
But the strike could prove unpopular with parents who will be left trying to juggle work and childcare.
Nick Raine, Yorkshire regional officer for NUT, said the strike was not just about teachers' pay and pensions.
“There's been a lot of attacks on teachers and education in the last couple of years from Michael Gove and the Government, but Mr Gove has been utterly unwilling to consult with anybody from within education.
“This is a last resort – we have said it will be strike unless Mr Gove is willing to meet and discuss our concerns.”
Mr Raine said the union's concerns included the use of unqualified teaching staff and the rise of free schools and academies in areas where there were already adequate school numbers.
A council spokeswoman said: “The local authority strongly encourages governing bodies and headteachers to keep schools open to maintain continuity of educational provision, taking into account health and safety requirements.
“Should governors and headteachers feel it necessary to close their school, parents must be informed and the local authority notified of full or partial closures.”
North-East councils said they were still contacting schools to find out if they would be forced to close.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: "It is disappointing that the NUT and NASUWT are striking over the Government's measures to allow heads to pay good teachers more.
“In a recent poll, 61 per cent of respondents supported linking teachers' pay to performance and 70 per cent either opposed the strikes or believed that teachers should not be allowed to strike at all.”
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