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Striking teachers march in Portsmouth

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Striking teachers have marched through the centre of Portsmouth in a protest over pay, pensions and working conditions.

About 100 members of the National Union of Teachers and their supporters were involved in the protest against changes to the school system introduced by Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Amanda Martin, secretary of the Portsmouth branch of the NUT, said although there had been some criticism of the strike, the teachers’ message meeded to be heard.

She said: ‘There’s been a lot of hooha about taking children out of school, but if we don’t stand up for ourselves how can we expect our children too?’

Teacher Caroline Firbank, of Gomer Junior School in Gosport, said she wasn’t striking because of worsening pay conditions, but because of increased workload.

She said: ‘Mr Gove wants us to have longer days and shorter holidays.

‘He keeps on comparing us to Singapore and Norway but they’re different cultures and you can’t them to us.

‘I’m sure children wouldn’t like to be stuck in school from 8am to 6pm either.’

The NUT has threatened more strikes unless Mr Gove promises to give teachers a better deal.

 

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