Local schools affected; government ‘failure’ blamed
Government ‘failure’ has led to Southampton’s upcoming teacher strikes, set to start on Wednesday (Feb 1), according to the leader of Southampton City Council Cllr Satvir Kaur (Lab).
Members of the National Education Union have voted to take strike action “for a fully funded, above-inflation pay rise”.
The union is declaring seven days of strike action in February and March, but says “any individual school/member will only be affected by four of them”.
Schools across the city and beyond will shut their doors in partial or full shutdowns as the strikes begin on Wednesday.
Cllr Kaur said: “Speaking to many that work within education locally, it’s clear that no-one enjoys or wants to strike, but they feel helpless and forced to do so because they are at breaking point and feel they cannot carry on with how things are.
“We’re in this situation because there has been a failure by this government over the last 13 years to protect and support public services. This has resulted in huge cuts to Southampton schools and a real-terms pay-cut to staff, which has already impacted the education that future generations are receiving.
“I would urge the government to have a meaningful dialogue, so that future strike action and the disruption it causes, can be avoided.”
Quoted in the Evening Standard, education secretary Gillian Keegan (Con) said it was “hugely disappointing” that the NEU would proceed with strike action in England and Wales.
“These strikes will have a significant impact on children’s education, especially following the disruption of the past two years, and are creating huge uncertainly for parents,” she said.
Among other city schools affected, the council has listed partial closures at Bitterne Park School, Bitterne Park Primary and St Denys Primary School. Portswood Primary will be fully closed. The full council list of school closures is on their site. The page also suggests visiting your child’s school’s website or @LearningInSoton on Twitter for further information if in doubt.
By bitternepark.info, and Jamie Shapiro, Local Democracy Reporter