Harrow teachers strike over government plans for education

Members of Harrow NUT meeting in the town centre before heading into London

Members of Harrow NUT meeting in the town centre before heading into London

First published in News
Last updated
Harrow Times: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Teachers in the borough are joining others around the country on a strike over pay, pensions and workload.

Members of Harrow's National Union of Teachers (NUT) are joining a mass rally in central London today, which has led to the closure of seven schools and partially closed 23 others.

The strike is over government changes to education, which the union says are having a damaging effect on education.

Simon Sackwild, president of Harrow NUT, said: “We are going on strike today because we have been backed into a corner because the government do not want to have meaningful talks. We are taking action to defend education.

“It is always a tough decision to go on strike but we have to show we are concerned about the changes being brought in.

“Performance related pay is a big concern because results do not show how well a teacher is doing.

“All teachers work hard and there is no evidence that payment by results improves standards.

“The Government wants to improve standards in education but we haven’t had an increase in pay for years.”

Other changes include teachers having to work until they are 68 or beyond, increasing pensions contributions by 50 per cent and the introduction of performance-related pay.

Harrow Borough Council leader Cllr Susan Hall, said: “I obviously regret that this strike is going ahead.

“I know teachers feel strongly about the issues involved, but we all ultimately want what is best for our children and I hope we can get to an agreement without the need for any further disruption.”

London NUT regional secretary Bob Stapley said: “It is time for the Secretary of State seriously to address the issue of teacher workload if we are to retain the excellent teacher we have in London schools.

“Teachers do not take strike action lightly but they believe that nothing else will bring about the meaningful negotiations we are seeking.”

A spokesman for the Department for Education 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.

"They called for talks to avoid industrial action, we agreed to their request, and talks have been taking place weekly.

"Despite this constructive engagement with their concerns, the NUT is taking action that will disrupt parents' lives, hold back children's education and damage the reputation of the profession.”

Comments (3)

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1:14pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Husain Akhtar says...

Is it not that the schools and school related matters are under the political wing of the portfolio holder for children services who receives handsome additional allowance- hope she is well!
Is it not that the schools and school related matters are under the political wing of the portfolio holder for children services who receives handsome additional allowance- hope she is well! Husain Akhtar
  • Score: -1

3:14pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Sonoo Malkani says...

Call me old-fashioned or out of touch ---but I cannot understand what a teacher's strike will achieve---aside from disrupting our children's education and that of working parents.

Whatever the grievances may be,surely teachers could find a more constructive way to put their case forward and not take part in such damaging
stoppages.

Many of our schools have good track records but several are lagging behind when compared to schools in other parts of the world ,such as China and India.Wasting precious teaching hours in this manner does not help one bit to correct these deficiencies.We owe it to our children to do whatever it takes to make them excel in the three R's .

I expect many might not agree with me but I believe when you are in a noble profession such as teaching strike action should not even cross your minds!I humbly appeal to all teachers to please find other more meaningful ways to get your message across and not punish the very children you seek to educate.
Call me old-fashioned or out of touch ---but I cannot understand what a teacher's strike will achieve---aside from disrupting our children's education and that of working parents. Whatever the grievances may be,surely teachers could find a more constructive way to put their case forward and not take part in such damaging stoppages. Many of our schools have good track records but several are lagging behind when compared to schools in other parts of the world ,such as China and India.Wasting precious teaching hours in this manner does not help one bit to correct these deficiencies.We owe it to our children to do whatever it takes to make them excel in the three R's . I expect many might not agree with me but I believe when you are in a noble profession such as teaching strike action should not even cross your minds!I humbly appeal to all teachers to please find other more meaningful ways to get your message across and not punish the very children you seek to educate. Sonoo Malkani
  • Score: -2

2:24pm Mon 31 Mar 14

diligaf says...

Overpaid underworked 20 weeks of per year and they want more? Lazy
Overpaid underworked 20 weeks of per year and they want more? Lazy diligaf
  • Score: 0

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