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Wyre Forest parents and teachers react to school strikes
STRIKE action hit 13 schools across Wyre Forest this week with full or partial closure.
District primary and secondary schools shut to some or all pupils as teachers staged a walkout yesterday in a row pay and pensions.
Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT, whose members took action along with the National Union of Teachers, said teachers “regretted” the strike and it was a “last resort”.
The move, however, riled some parents, who had to take time off work to provide childcare.
Andy Preece, of Kidderminster, whose four-year-old son attends Franche Community Primary School, said: “I feel there are many other ways to dispute rather than make the children lose out.
“As a parent and full-time worker I understand you have disputes at times but you cannot just strike in this day and age. My wife had to be at home all day and we had to make alternative plans to accommodate their strike.”
A teacher from Baxter College, who went on strike and did not want to be named, said Governement changes would also mean teachers could lose valuable preparation time.
“Nobody likes to take this action but if we do not put our cause forward then we cannot complain when things go against us,” he added. “At the end of the day it is the kids who are going to lose out if morale goes down.”
Mr Keates added: “Such action would have been unnecessary had [education secretary Michael Gove] been prepared to engage in genuine discussions.”
Conservative Worcestershire county councillor Liz Eyre, cabinet member for children and families, said the education authority had provided “advice and guidance” to headteachers.
Changes angering teachers include plans to introduce performance-related pay and raise pension contributions, including a bid to ask staff to work until 68.
Full closures in Wyre Forest took place at the Bewdley School and Sixth Form Centre, Wolverley Secondary School, Wolverley Sebright Primary School, Cookley Sebright Primary School, Wilden All Saints’ Primary School, Franche Community Primary School and St John’s Primary School.
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