Schools across Lambeth closed as teachers take strike action against pensions and working conditions


Another strike will take place before Christmas.


By Douglas Patient

Around 77% of schools across Lambeth were disrupted yesterday as teachers took strike action.

Teachers throughout London, the South East, South West and North East were striking because of Michael Gove’s refusal to negotiate with the unions on pay, pensions and working conditions.

Lambeth Council figures detailed that 60 out of 78 schools were to be partially open or closed yesterday.

“Teachers are seeing this very much as a referendum on Michael Gove and his damaging education reforms,” said Sara Tomlinson, joint branch secretary of Lambeth National Union of Teachers.

“We are seeing an unprecedented level of anger among our members who feel it’s time to stand up for a better, fairer and more equitable education system.”

The National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, who represent 9 out of 10 teachers, worked together to support the strike.

A statement from Lambeth NUT said: “Teachers have had enough. They’ve had enough of the attacks on their pay, pensions and working conditions. But most of all they’ve had enough of the attacks on education.”

Teacher Chloe Docherty was speaking at the London Rally.

“All members of the school community work hard but the government simply do not see that,” she said. “The Government is sapping the joy out of the classroom.”

The Department for Education do not think the strikes were successful.

They claim their official figures show only 27% of schools were closed in affected areas, whereas in the national strike of November 2011 these figures were 60% in the same regions.

“I don’t believe this strike is justified and it is not going to change Government policy,” said Education Minister David Laws.

“These are reforms that are taking place across the whole of the public sector. They are, I’m afraid, necessary in these very difficult times where we have to get the budget back under control. Most teachers, I believe, accept that.”

Another strike is due to take place before Christmas.

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