School strike: Majority of Barking and Dagenham schools hit by today’s NUT walkouts

Barking and Dagenham teachers striking back in 2011

Barking and Dagenham teachers striking back in 2011 - Credit: Archant

The majority of schools across Barking and Dagenham are being hit by a one-day strike today as teachers march against government changes to their pay and pensions, and what they say is “excessive workload and bureaucracy”.

It follows three walk-outs last year that closed a number of schools in the borough with the most recent – in October – affecting all but four.

All secondaries are either closed or partly-closed with only five primary schools unaffected.

Dominic Byrne, Barking and Dagenham National Union of Teachers division secretary said: “I’m surprised and pleased by the numbers of NUT members answering the call in the borough.

“It just shows how everyone has had enough of Michael Gove and his meddling agenda.”

Members of the National Union of Teachers are protesting the Education Secretary’s bid to introduce performance-related pay and changes to pensions they say will see them pay more, work longer and receive less after retirement.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, said: “Teachers deeply regret the disruption caused by this strike action to parents and teachers.

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“The Government’s refusal, however, to engage to resolve the dispute means that we have no alternative other than to demonstrate the seriousness of our concerns.

“Teachers’ levels of workload are intolerable. This is bad for children and bad for education.

“Teachers do not believe that they can work to the age of 68 or even later for a full pension – and they don’t believe it is educationally desirable either.”

A spokesperson for the council said: “All of our schools will have informed parents about the strike and how it will affect them.

“We encourage parents to check their children’s school, read the information they have been sent carefully and check on the school’s website for updates as some schools have different arrangements for different year groups.”