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'Blame Government not us' says teachers' union boss
HOURS before she was due to address striking teachers in the North-East a union boss blamed the Government for provoking todays one-day industrial action.
Thousands of members of the NASUWT and NUT teacher unions throughout the North-East are expected to take industrial action today (Thursday) over changes to teachers pay, working conditions and jobs.
Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, who is due to speak at a rally in Durham City today, said: "No teacher has any wish to inconvenience parents or disrupt pupils' education, but this action is not the failure or due to the unreasonableness of teachers.
"It is the failure and unreasonableness of the Secretary of State, who day-in-day-out is disrupting the education of children and young people through his attacks on the teaching profession.
Ms Keates said the "overwhelming majority" of teachers will be on strike in the North-East and Cumbria, South-West, South-East and London.
She urged the Secretary of State "to acknowledge the real and deep concerns of teachers and commit to engage constructively in discussions to seek to resolve the dispute."
While some areas - such as County Durham - will see the vast majority of schools shut or partially closed other areas will be more of a patchwork of closed, partially closed and fully open schools.
In Darlington only 11 out of 44 schools will be completely closed with the rest either open or partially open.
In Middlesbrough, child care and activities are being specially laid on at the towns myplace youth centre in North Street for youngsters aged eight to 14.
The Government has criticised the strike saying it will disrupt parents lives, hold back childrens education and damage the reputation of teachers.
*Check if your school is closed by visiting northernecho.co.uk
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