Sheffield teachers to strike on July 5

South Yorkshire NUT members on a march from Devonshire Green to a rally at Barker's Pool Sheffield. Photo: Maddick
South Yorkshire NUT members on a march from Devonshire Green to a rally at Barker's Pool Sheffield. Photo: Maddick

South Yorkshire teachers will walk out in protest against Government cuts.

The National Union of Teachers, or NUT, has called a day of strike action on July 5. The action could mean some schools in the region will have to close or operate with a reduced timetable.

In Sheffield, a march and rally will be held, starting at Devonshire Green at 11am and finishing on the steps of City Hall at 12.30pm.

Sheffield NUT joint divisional secretary Toby Mallinson said: “Teachers go into the profession to make a difference to children’s lives and to develop in them a love of learning. No teacher takes strike action lightly. Inadequate levels of funding, however, are having a negative effect on both children and teachers that cannot go unaddressed.

“According to the respected Institute of Fiscal Studies, schools are facing the worst funding cuts since the 1970s. This is impacting heavily on the choices and decisions that head teachers in Sheffield and around the country have to make.

“We are already seeing an increase in class sizes, a reduction in subject choices for children, especially in the arts, less materials and books in classrooms and cuts to school trips. Teachers and support staff are being cut or not replaced meaning less individual attention for children.

“If, as many predict, inflation rises following the EU referendum, then schools will be forced to contend with even larger real term cuts.

“Meanwhile George Osborne is freezing the cash per pupil he gives to schools, whilst increasing what he takes from them. For every 20 teachers employed, a school has to find an extra teacher salary to give to the Treasury.

“On top of the funding cuts, the breakup of the national system of terms and conditions for teachers is a complete distraction for head teachers. Instead of focusing on teaching and learning they will have to spend huge amounts of time negotiating teacher contracts.

“Schools need funding to a level where every child is guaranteed an education they deserve, and are taught by qualified teachers that schools can afford to employ. Academies should have regard to national terms and conditions for teachers. Parents, children, teachers and the general public expect this of our education system. This should be within every government’s grasp to guarantee. We urge Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to listen”.

Parents have been advised to contact their children’s school directly for information on opening hours.

Among those that will close partially as a result of the strike is Birley Community College. Executive Headteacher Steve Robinson said: “Birley Community College will be closed to all students in Year 9 on July 5. Lessons will run as normal for Year 7 and 8 students.

“Year 10 are on work experience that day and that will continue as planned. We have also been able to make arrangements for Year 6 transition events to continue on that day as planned.”

Newfield Secondary School in Norton Lees will be similarly affected. Co-Headteachers Emma Anderson and Dean Webster said: “Neither the governing body nor the co-headteachers are legally allowed to close the school ‘in sympathy’ with the strike and we will not do so. However, our main concern is the safety of our students.

“With that in mind, the school will be partially open on July 5. Year 8 and 9 students should remain at home. Year 7 and 10 should attend as normal for the full day at 8.30am.”