Secret Teacher: I won’t be a foot soldier of a broken regime – I’m striking

Apr 10, 2017 by

For too long schools have accepted top-down diktats from the government. That’s why we will continue to strike until our demands are met

We’re going on strike. For three days later this month, the NUT membership in my school will be downing tools and walking out. Why? Because we believe that a proposed restructure of the school will be devastating for teachers and students.

More than 20 support staff have been sacked since September, and a dozen teachers are on the chopping block this term – all to alleviate a spending deficit. For those who remain, workloads will increase even further and looming government cuts to comprehensive community education mean the problem will only be exacerbated.

But after a decade of one-day strikes over national issues that don’t particularly resonate with the wider community, it feels like we are broaching new territory. We’ve already held three days of strikes and our sister union, the NASUWT, will join us later in the month. Other schools will be taking action over redundancies and workload at the same time. Our demonstrations outside local council offices have attracted members of the public and supportive toots from passing cars. It’s spreading like wildfire.

This time parents and students care, too. The dispute has gathered the support of a 200-strong parent campaign. They may not have had much sympathy for our national pensions campaign, but when their child is learning in an unstable atmosphere – with their courses and their relationships under threat – they care.

While the support is great, it doesn’t take away the guilt we feel for striking so close to exams. We’ve worked all hours trying to prepare our GCSE students. Our instincts tell us to continue, but something has to give.

Source: Secret Teacher: I won’t be a foot soldier of a broken regime – I’m striking | Teacher Network | The Guardian

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