Government minister: strike is ‘bad for pupils and bad for parents’

Forest School Leaders Dawn White and Sue Evans with their pupils outside the school

Picture: Habibur Rahman (180146-338)

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THE teachers’ strike is ‘bad for pupils and bad for parents,’ education minister David Laws has said.

Schools across Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire are shut today as teachers strike in a row over pay, pensions and workload.

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and teachers’ union NASUWT are joining teachers in London, Cumbria, the South East, North East and South West in the day of action.

Many object to plans by Education Secretary Michael Gove to introduce performance-related pay, increase workloads and make changes pensions.

Mr Laws said: ‘I don’t believe this strike is justified and it is not going to change Government policy.”

He told ITV’s Daybreak: ‘These are reforms that are taking place across the whole of the public sector. They are, I’m afraid, necessary in these very difficult times where we have to get the budget back under control. Most teachers, I believe, accept that.’

He also doubted how much support the strike will get.

He said: ‘The right way to fix education policy is either by talking with the Government or through the ballot box and not taking industrial action.

‘I think that is the view of the vast majority of teachers who I don’t think will be striking today even in those areas where the NUT and NASUWT are trying to take action.’