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Keighley-district schools hit by strike action
6:41pm Wednesday 26th March 2014 in News
Schools across the Keighley district were hit as teachers staged a walkout today over pay and conditions.
Some schools shut altogether and many others were partially closed due to the action, by the National Union of Teachers (NUT).
Worth Valley Primary School in Keighley, Cullingwoth Village Primary, Aire View Infant School at Silsden and Steeton Primary were all closed, plus Sutton CP School in North Yorkshire.
Across the whole Bradford district, more than 100 schools were affected by the national walkout.
NUT members attended a rally, in Bradford city centre, over what they see as “excessive” workloads and changes to pensions.
And the councillor in charge of children’s services at Bradford Council – Ralph Berry – said he supported the teachers, whom he believes are becoming disenfranchised by government policies.
He said: “This strike reflects the growing sense of frustration teachers have with the attacks on terms and conditions, including their pensions being attacked.
"I share their concerns and while I regret it has caused strike action across the country there are serious problems with recruiting and retaining teachers."
The strike was condemned by the Department for Education, and the NUT was not joined by sister union NASUWT – which in February voted to continue negotiating with the government rather than strike.
A DfE spokesman said: “Parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the government’s measures to let heads pay good teachers more.
“The NUT is taking action that will disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession.”
But Ian Stevenson, NUT regional secretary, said: “The support we have had has been fantastic.
“Teachers’ levels of workload are unacceptable. The government’s own survey showed that primary teachers work nearly 60 hours per week and secondary teachers nearly 56 hours a week.”
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