School strikes Lancashire: Teachers in Preston and Chorley take part in national NEU strike

Teachers in Preston and Chorley have taken part in a national strike today (February, 28.)
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Who is striking when?

Members of the National Education Union across the North are on strike today in a dispute over pay, following an initial day of strike action on February 1.

Our photographer visited one picket line held at Parklands High School in Chorley, but others were planned across Lancashire.

Staff striking at Parklands High School, ChorleyStaff striking at Parklands High School, Chorley
Staff striking at Parklands High School, Chorley
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NEU members in the Midlands and east of England will strike Wednesday, whilst those in Wales and the south will on Thursday.

Further national strike days are planned for England and Wales schools on March 15 and 16.

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What does the union say?

NEU members in the North of England are on strike today. Pictured: the Parklands High School picket line.NEU members in the North of England are on strike today. Pictured: the Parklands High School picket line.
NEU members in the North of England are on strike today. Pictured: the Parklands High School picket line.

Peter Middleman, NW Regional Secretary of the NEU, said: “Our members have broken through the threshold for ballots. They have bravely taken strike action already, and our membership has grown by 49,000 since the ballot result was first announced. The strength of feeling is all too clear. Enough is enough.

"The government’s education policy is driving the current recruitment and retention crisis. A fully funded, above inflation pay rise would make a significant difference. It would ensure children are taught by those who specialise in the subject they are delivering, and stop the brain drain which leads to pupils seeing a revolving door of teachers over the course of a year.”

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"We regret having to take strike action and the disruption it causes, but it is also self-evident that disruption to education is now part of a pupil's daily life. This is the point we have repeatedly made to the education secretary. It is time for her to come up with solutions.”

What does the government say?

One poster reads "You can't put children first if you put teachers last" at the Parklands High School picket line.One poster reads "You can't put children first if you put teachers last" at the Parklands High School picket line.
One poster reads "You can't put children first if you put teachers last" at the Parklands High School picket line.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: "As a government, we have made a serious offer to the leaders of the National Education Union and Royal College of Nursing: pause this week's strikes, get round the table and talk about pay, conditions and reforms.

"It is hugely disappointing the NEU has thus far refused this serious offer and has not joined the Royal College of Nursing in calling off strikes.

"Instead of sitting round a table discussing pay, the NEU will once again cause disruption for children and families.

"Children deserve to be in school, and further strike action is simply unforgivable, especially after everything children have been through because of the pandemic."