Teacher strike will undermine children’s education – Downing Street

The prime minister does not want further disruption to children’s education as the largest teachers’ union has warned of a strike over wages and workload, No. 10 said.

It comes as Education Minister Nadhim Zahavi called any such move “inexcusable” and a senior Conservative MP said the strike would amount to another “lockdown” for children.

Mr Zahavi wrote in The Daily Telegraph: “Young people have been through more upheaval than any generation before them and to make it worse now that recovery is in full swing and families are thinking about their next big step after school or college would be unforgivable.” and unfair.”

The National Education Union (NEU) said it would hold consultations with its members in the fall, “urging them” to support the strikes if the government did not respond to its concerns in the next few months.

Wage cuts and high workloads are among the union’s main complaints.

On Thursday, Downing Street again expressed concern about any such strikes later this year.

A spokesperson for #10 said: “Young people have been affected more than any other generation that has gone before.

“And it’s very important that teachers continue to help these students get back on track, and the last thing we want to see is something that can undermine that work.”

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Education Secretary Nadhim Zahavi (James Manning/PA)

When asked again if Boris Johnson agreed with Mr. Zahavi’s position, the spokesman said: “Well, the Prime Minister agrees with what Nadhim Zahavi said that, as I have clearly stated, we do not want children education has suffered. no more than it was, given the amount of disruption caused by the pandemic.”

Robert Halfon, chairman of the Select Committee on Education, expressed similar concerns.

“Our children have been hit hard by Covid over the last few years because most of the kids were out of school,” he told the BBC World At One programme.

“We know that the damage done to their level of education, their mental health, their life chances, their protection, and the virtual isolation of children as a result of the strike will not only cause children suffering, but will also cause huge problems. for parents because, of course, many of them have to be at work while their kids are at school.

“Therefore, this is not the way to solve these problems,” he said.

The NEU has criticized the government’s data to the School Teachers’ Monitoring Authority suggesting a 3% pay rise for most teachers in England, which it says would mean a ‘huge’ pay cut based on Wednesday’s inflation data of 9.1 % on CPI. measure and 11.7% for RPI.

Mr Halfon said he would like more help for lower-wage employees such as teacher assistants and support staff.

“If you could focus on the underpaid professionals in the school, I think that would help.”

Discussing the rail strikes this week and the prospects for further action this year, he said the government was in a difficult position.

“I think the government has a very difficult rope to walk because, unfortunately, there is not much money.

“Ironically, these train strikes will cost the economy around £1 billion.

“This means that less revenue is coming into the treasury because the economy is damaged.

“That means the government has less money to be able to fund wage increases, so it’s a vicious circle of damage.”