Havering schools to shut as teachers walk out

Teachers are striking over disagreements with the goverment over pay, pensions and working condition

Teachers are striking over disagreements with the goverment over pay, pensions and working conditions. Pic by Rui Vieira/PA - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Schools across Havering are set to be disrupted by Thursday’s teachers’ strike.

The walkout has been organised by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Association of Schoolmasters’ Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) in a dispute with the government over pay, pensions and working conditions.

Some schools will be shut completely while others will be partially open, depending on how many union members join the picket lines.

Pete Wells, business manager at Emerson Park Academy in Wych Elm Road, Upminster, said the academy “will be closed to students but the school will still be open”.

He said: “Due to the high proportion of our teachers who are in the union it will be impossible for students to have a normal day. We can’t ask teachers if they intend to strike or not, but we expect there will be a lot of them.

“The school has sent out letters to parents but if students do come in, they will be able to get on with revising – there will be no scheduled lessons.”

The strike is over government plans which will see teachers unable to claim their pensions until they are 68, performance-related pay and workloads.

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The unions are unhappy with the reluctance of education secretary Michael Gove to negotiate with them and the south is the last area to be hit by a series of nationwide rolling strikes.

Ray Waxler, the NUT secretary for Havering, said: “We have had a very positive and strong response from members who will be going on strike reluctantly.

“No one wants industrial action but we have no choice as Michael Gove won’t talk to us about it. The way they have gone about it is unsatisfactory and we want to be able to talk about it.”

Havering Council is still collating which schools will be closed on Thursday and which will be affected.

A spokesman said: “We are closely monitoring the position at schools and will be putting information we receive from headteachers on to our website ahead of the strike.”

Log on to www.romfordrecorder.co.uk throughout next week for the latest on school closures up to and during the strike.