Hundreds of Gloucestershire schools close as teachers strike
TEACHERS across Gloucestershire united with thousands in the South West to strike yesterday, affecting more than 100 schools in the county.
Thousands of pupils stayed at home as schools were fully or partially closed.
Teachers are unhappy at changes to working conditions which will see them pay more into pension schemes and receive less on retirement – and work up to the age of 68.
They're also objecting to Education Secretary Michael Gove's plans for performance-related pay and an increase to their workloads.
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John Pemberthy, branch secretary of the NUT in Gloucestershire, said he understood parents' concerns, particularly if they had to pay for childcare, but said they should blame Mr Gove.
He said: "Gloucestershire trains a larger proportion of the nation's teachers than it employs and we worry about their increasing disillusionment with their situation.
"Michael Gove says that this is the best generation of teachers ever and yet he is downgrading their pay, increasing their pension contributions without any evidence this is needed, worsening conditions of service and increasing the already excessively long hours teachers work.
"As a result, many young teachers leave the profession early in their careers, wasting both their enthusiasm and the investment in their training."
Former Cheltenham secondary school teacher Ian Morgan was on the march too. He said: "The move towards academies has done away with so much.
"We used to have experienced teachers who were subject leaders and could advise and share ideas."
Benhall parent Marcus Annfield said his children Daniel, 16, and Amy, five, attended Crypt School and Benhall Infant School which weren't affected by the strikes.
"I am against the strike because of the effect it has on the local economy with so many parents having to take time off work," he said. "But I agree with the teachers on performance-related pay."