Striking teachers cause disruption across Herts

Tring School teachers on strike.
Tring School teachers on strike.

Striking teachers caused disruption across Herts yesterday as schools were forced to shut and some sixth-formers were paid to work with younger children.

The action was part of a rolling programme of regional strikes by the UK’s two largest teaching unions, the NUT and NASUWT.

They are protesting about changes to their national pay structures, pensions, working conditions, the two-year salary freeze and lack of dialogue with the government about their concerns.

Tring School teachers taking strike action invited parents to come and talk to them at the parish church.

The invitation received mixed reactions from users commenting on the Everything Tring Facebook page.

Some were supportive, but one said: “Good job I’m working – else there would be some serious egg throwing going on. Pathetic.

“They’ve just had six weeks off in which to voice their concerns over anything that might be happening during the school term. Yet they feel the need to disrupt the school year.

“Try taking your kids out of school a day early to go on holiday and it’s a hanging offence.”

Tring School NUT representative Lorraine Cushnie said government changes include making teachers work to 68 rather than 60.

She said the proposals will damage children’s education by deterring people from joining the profession.

She said: “We want enthusiastic, motivated teachers and at the moment we do not have that. Teachers are feeling very demoralised and under attack by the government.”

Pupils in Years 9 to 11 at Tring School were told to stay at home yesterday.

Sixth-formers will be paid £25 in vouchers for working with Year 8 children during a ‘real games day’ where they learned about life skills.

Headteacher Sue Collins said: “They are having a voucher, but they are not replacing what teachers would do, because that would be breaking the law.

“They are working with them, not looking after them.

“They are supporting them on the same table and sharing the experiences of their life.”