5th Dec, 2016

Solihull teachers protest against government decision to cut education funding

Aisling Kiely 9th Jul, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

ANGRY TEACHERS in Solihull demonstrated against Government plans to reduce funding for education by holding strikes on Tuesday (July 5).

More than ten schools across the borough were disrupted by the organised strikes – and in some cases closed their doors – as irate teachers walked out to speak up against proposed cuts.

Grace Academy, Tudor Grange Academy and Hazel Oak school were among a long list of schools affected by the strikes – with fears the Government cash cuts could jeopardise pupils’ learning.

The members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) voiced their concerns over proposed ‘increased workload’ and ‘impeded pay progression’ and took part in marches across the borough.

Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Kevin Courtney said: “Teachers do not take strike action lightly and did so with a heavy heart.

“Teachers are weary of seeing the education children receive being negatively affected by Government policy, of working in schools where the funding is insufficient and their terms and conditions eroded.

“Schools are facing the worst cuts in funding since the 1970s and the decisions which head teachers have to make are damaging to our children and young people’s education.

“Class sizes are going up, school trips reduced, materials and resources reduced, and subjects – particularly in the arts – are being removed from the curriculum.”

Solihull teacher Jessica Long was one of those to take part in the protest.

She told the Observer: “It is important that teachers take strike action and although it is a last resort, the actions of the government regarding education, left teachers with no choice. “Workload is an issue, unfair terms and conditions and increases in class sizes. Education is being subjected to cuts and it’s not fair on the future of our children and teachers. We have to fight to be heard because the profession is being made a mockery and the government are not investing the our children and the future.”

“The profession is hard and the pressures are phenomenal – it isn’t going to get easier. As an newly-qualified teacher I can easily see why people leave the profession and if nothing changes then unqualified people will be running the education sector.”