Strike: 44 Hackney schools to shut as teachers protest “creeping privatisation”

Teachers picketing outside BSix College, Hackney.

Teachers picketing outside BSix College, Hackney. - Credit: Archant

Two thirds of schools across Hackney are closed today, as teachers join in with national strike action.

The strike organized by the largest teacher union, the National Union of Teachers (NUT), is part of a campaign to protect pay and pensions and to ensure a realistic workload. Just Daubeney, Holy Trinity, Ickburgh and Randel Cremer primary schools will remain open today, while 44 others will be shut entirely, and 18 running only some classes.

NUT members are concerned about government changes which include proposals for teachers to work until they are 68 or older, increasing pension contributions by 50 per cent and reducing the pension package as well as introducing performance-related pay.

Government figures have revealed primary school teachers are working about 60 hours a week, which the NUT believes is too much and one of the reasons why so many young teachers are leaving the profession.

Jamie Duff, spokesman for Hackney NUT said about 1,700 teachers in Hackney are striking today, to defend education.

“Teachers will not stand by and let Michael Gove and this government destroy the education system,” he said.

“Gove’s policy of creeping privatisation includes the deregulation of teacher’s pay and conditions - we will not let that happen.”

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A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “Parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the Government’s measures to let heads pay good teachers more.”