TEACHERS’ STRIKE: School closures

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A number of schools in Mid Sussex are closed or partially closed today due to a teachers’ strike.

In Burgess Hill they include Oakmeeds Community College; Southway Junior School; London Meed Community Primary School; and Birchwood Grove Community Primary School.

Lindfield Primary School is also partially closed, but all other schools in Haywards Heath are open as normal, according to West Sussex County Council’s website.

The National Union of Teachers, Britain’s biggest teaching union, called the strike as a result of the Coalition Government’s perceived failure to enter into meaningful talks to resolve the dispute over pay, pensions, job cuts and workload.

Mark Sandell, teacher and West Sussex NUT communications officer, said: “Teachers have been pushed into strike action in defence of education.

“Pay freezes and big increases in pension contributions have left us nearly 20 per cent worse off.

“Yet our pensions are going to be worse and we will have to teach to 68 to claim them.

“The effect of this attack on teachers is that fewer and fewer young people are training to be teachers and the shortages are already affecting schools in West Sussex with more and more non teachers in front of classes.

“The Government are encouraging schools to fill the gap with untrained staff. Left to run its course, this policy will undermine the state education system and deny students a decent education.”