Teachers strike shuts Sunderland and Durham schools – is your child’s one of them?

Protesting in Newcastle during a one day general strike in June 2011.
Protesting in Newcastle during a one day general strike in June 2011.
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STRIKE action by teachers is set to cause chaos for Wearside families with more than 75 per cent of the city’s schools affected.

Less than a quarter of all Sunderland’s schools will be fully open tomorrow due to joint action by the country’s two biggest teaching unions, the National Union of Teachers, NUT, and the NASUWT, the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers.

The rest of the schools will either be closed to all pupils for the whole day or only open to a proportion of youngsters.

Sunderland City Council has compiled a list of schools which will be closed, but a spokesman said individual schools have been informing parents and carers of their positions.

The walk-outs tomorrow by union members across the North East of England, London, the South East and South West, follow a one-day strike on October 1 in Eastern England, the East Midlands, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber.

The unions, which jointly represent 90 per cent of teachers, say the action is part of their campaign to protect teachers and defend education and claim they follow the Secretary of State’s continued refusal to genuinely engage with them to seek to resolve disputes over changes to pay, pensions, working conditions and jobs.

Teachers from across the region are expected to gather in Durham City tomorrow as part of a series of rallies to demonstrate their anger, frustration and concern and Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, will address the rally in Durham.

Unions are also planning a one-day all-out national strike before the end of the autumn term.

Sarah Lake, secretary of the Sunderland NUT branch, said: “Teachers across Wearside are striking and schools closed in protest at what they feel to be an unprecedented and sustained attack on their pay and conditions as well as the education system.

“Members of the two largest unions, the NUT and NASUWT will regrettably be unable to do the job they like best, being in the classroom.”

Sarah said teachers will be having to stay in the classroom until they are 68 and like other public sector workers teachers have seen their salaries frozen whilst also paying bigger pension contributions and facing large increases in food and fuel bills.

She said: “The coalition government has also introduced fundamental changes to exams and the national curriculum. When consultation has been invited, teachers, parents and academics have seen their opposition knocked back by education secretary, Michael Gove.”

Mr Gove has condemned the strike action and Councillor Robert Oliver, Sunderland’s Tory spokesman for education – and himself a teacher – said: “The NUT and NASUWT are damaging the teaching profession by calling an unnecessary strike which will disrupt children’s learning and achieve nothing.”

Closed or open? How Sunderland Academies will be affected

Biddick Academy - closed

Castle View Enterprise Acadey - undecided

Farringdon Community Academy - closed

Kepier - closed

Red House Academy - closed

Oxclose Community Academy - closed

Academy 360 - closed to secondary and partially closed to primary

Southmoor Academy - closed

St Aidan’s Catholic Academy - partially closed

St Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy - undecided

The Venerable Bede Academy - open to Year 11s

Farringdon Academy - closed

Benedict Biscop CE Academy - open

Bexhill Academy - closed

East Herrington Primary Academy- open to all but one class

Eppleton Academy Primary School - open

Fulwell Infants Academy School - closed

Hastings Hill Academy - closed

New Penshaw Academy - closed

Plains Farm Academy - closed

Redby Academy - partially closed

Barbara Priestman Academy - open

Portland Academy - partially open

Springwell Dene Academy - partially open

Town End Academy

•Click here for a list of all other Sunderland schools to shut

•Click here for Durham schools which will shut