A number of schools in Herefordshire are partially closed today due to ongoing strike action from the National Education Union. Schools affected include Fairfield High School, Hereford Academy, The Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School and many others.

On Thursday 27 April and Tuesday 2 May, teacher members of the National Education Union (NEU) will hold two days of strike action in schools and colleges in England as part of the campaign to win a fully funded, above-inflation pay rise.

This follows a pay and funding offer from Government that was resoundingly rejected by 98% of NEU members on a 66% turnout. 

Other education unions held votes, too, and received similar verdicts from memberships. 

The education secretary Gillian Keegan was informed of the NEU’s result in writing on 3 April.

National spokespeople will be around the country on both strike dates.

Commenting on the days of action, Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union, said:

“Gillian Keegan is failing to address the multiple problems damaging our children’s education – around teacher recruitment and retention problems, and inadequate school funding. She has been told by the profession – and a significant majority of the profession – that her pay and funding offer is not good enough.

“Her response has been to deny the way the wind is blowing. She is refusing to return to the negotiating table. It is this inaction, this silence which has left NEU teacher members in England’s schools and sixth form colleges to reluctantly take two more days of national strike action in the coming week.

“The NEU regrets any disruption to education, and has put in place measures to ensure GCSE and A-Level students have a full program on those days, but what parents know is the disruption to education on a daily basis. This is the result of government policy on pay, on workload, on funding, and its serial neglect of a recruitment and retention crisis. 

“Pupils are now regularly taught by staff who do not specialise in the subject they are asked to teach, or by a series of different teachers for the same subject across a year. 

“Schools are cutting subjects and facilities in order to make ends meet, reducing opportunities for young people. Support staff posts are disappearing, leading to less one-to-one time.

“Despite our efforts, this Government has shown no understanding of just how serious the situation is in our schools and colleges. The pay and funding offer has only served to unite the whole profession against the Government. That is why other education unions are moving to ballot. 

“This coming week, NEU members are acting to make the Government see sense and improve its offer to teachers.”