Schools close amid NUT strikes

A number of schools in England have been closed or disrupted as a result of the one-day strike staged by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) over school funding.

The union is staging regional marches and rallied to draw attention to school budgets, which are not keeping pace with rising costs. The action is also aimed at highlighting issues about pay workload.

Of the 25 per cent of NUT members which voted in the strike ballot, 91.7 per cent supported strike action.

In an interview with the BBC, Kevin Courtney, acting leader of NUT, commented: “The problems facing education, however, are too great to be ignored and we know many parents share our concerns. Class sizes are going up, we are being told of schools where there will be classes of 35 in September. Art, dance and drama teachers are being made redundant or not being replaced when they leave, individual attention for children is going down.

"This is all happening because the government is not allowing school budgets to keep pace with inflation. They are freezing the cash per pupil they give to schools."

The union cited analysis conducted by the Institute of Fiscal Studies which said spending per pupils is expected to fall by around eight per cent in real terms by 2020.

However, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has criticised the strike, warning it would ‘harm children's education, inconvenience parents and damage the profession's reputation in the eyes of the public’.

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