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Headache for parents as teachers go on strike across Mid Devon
7:00pm Friday 18th October 2013 in Mid Devon News
HUNDREDS of parents in Mid Devon had to arrange unexpected child care yesterday (Thursday) when teachers from two unions went on strike.
Schools announced their intention to close or partially close as early as possible to give parents a chance to make alternative arrangements.
Tiverton High School and Queen Elizabeth’s Academy in Crediton closed to all but the most senior students, and Tidcombe Primary School in Tiverton and Clyst Hydon Primary School in Cullompton were among those which were fully closed.
In a letter to parents, Demitri Coryton, chairman of governors at Queen Elizabeth’s, apologised for the inconvenience caused by the strike, but stressed that teachers “never take this action lightly.”
The strike affected almost all schools in the South-West as the NUT and NASUWT unions joined forces in a day of protest over a number of Government policies.
They warned that further disruption could follow if no agreement is reached between the two parties.
Andy Woolley, NUT South-West regional secretary, said: “We’re aware and concerned about the inconvenience it causes parents.
“Unfortunately, we’re faced with a Coalition Government that’s refusing to listen to the reasonable demands of the profession.
“Changes to pay, pensions and workload will make teaching a far less attractive profession, which isn’t in the long-term interest of teachers and children.”
Mr Woolley said many young teachers are leaving due to their pay being downgraded, higher pension contributions, worsening conditions of service and increased hours.
Bill Corbett, of the NASUWT, said Education Secretary Michael Gove had refused to enter into “any meaningful dialogue”.
“Teachers, frustrated by the continued dismantling of state education, have decided enough is enough,” said Mr Corbett.
The Department for Education claims it is trying to improve standards and that better teachers will be rewarded financially.
A spokesman for Devon County Council, which is responsible for delivering education across the county, said: “Closure is a matter for individual heads, in consultation with their governors, based on their unique circumstances.
“However, we encourage schools to stay open if they can to ensure the continuity of their children’s education and the least disruption to families.”
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