A striking teacher has shared a proud post on social media telling how she has ‘smashed her 10km personal best’ after she and thousands of other teachers walked out on Wednesday, causing disruption across the country.
Hannah Jarvis, from Yorkshire, posted a screenshot of her time from running app Strava, for the route she had dubbed her ‘Strike day run’.
She added on Twitter: ‘Smashed my 10km personal best whilst on strike!’. It comes as teachers launch a fresh wave of walkouts in a long-running dispute over pay just weeks before GCSE and A-Level exams – with most schools expected to either restrict access to classrooms or shut them completely.
Tens of thousands of members of the National Education Union (NEU) walked out of schools and sixth form colleges across England, with another strike planned on Tuesday.
Picket lines were mounted outside schools around the country, and a number of rallies are due to be held. But not all teachers joined the pickets this morning, as others took to social media to enjoy their day off.
Kevin Courtney, joint General Secretary of National Education Union (NEU), with teachers on the picket line outside Bristol Cathedral School
One teacher wrote: ‘Had a bit of a lie in today. Teachers are on strike so I’m not in work’.
Many secondary schools are expected to prioritise Year 11 and Year 13 students during the strikes, as GCSE and A-level exams are weeks away. The NEU said it will support arrangements during the strikes that ‘provide the minimum level of teaching staff needed’ so GCSE and A-level students can attend school for revision activities or exam practice.
It comes as parents shared their efforts to juggle childcare with their normal routines, and their innovative ways of keeping their children occupied.
One mother wrote on Twitter: ‘Lockdown flashbacks as I prepare to work from home and homeschool.’
A second person said: ‘Thanks to the NEU I’ve just made my first batch of chocolate poo cakes.’
The NEU is expected to announce three more strikes during the summer term after its members voted to reject the Government’s pay offer.
General secretary Kevin Courtney said: ‘Obviously, there is still disruption and we’ve fully acknowledged that and regret it, but we’ve taken those steps on the dispensations to try and assuage that concern as much as possible.’
Teachers on the picket line outside Bristol Cathedral School, College Square, Bristol
Tens of thousands of teacher members of the National Education Union (NEU) are estimated to walk out of schools and sixth form colleges across England this morning, with another day of action scheduled for Tuesday
The Government offered teachers a £1,000 one-off payment for the current school year (2022/23) and an average 4.5 per cent pay rise for staff next year following intensive talks with the education unions.
Four education unions, the NEU, the NASUWT teaching union, the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), have rejected the pay offer.
Speaking to LBC radio on Thursday, one parent from Chigwell said he fears teachers will ‘lose the support of parents’ due to the ‘unpalatable’ timing of the strikes.
The caller, named Spencer, told Nick Ferrari his wife is a teacher and he has a son in year 11 who is about to sit his GCSEs. ‘Why now?’ he asked.
‘There is simply no excuse to do it now.’
Meanwhile, the Government is taking legal action on Thursday against the Royal College of Nursing over its planned 48-hour strike over the Bank Holiday weekend.
RCN members working in the NHS in England at workplaces with a strike mandate are preparing to take 48-hour industrial action from 8pm or the start of the night shift on April 30.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay said NHS Employers had contacted him asking him to check the legality of the action because the organisation believes the strike mandate runs out on May 1.
Teachers on strike in Bristol today as they plunge schools into chaos
Mr Courtney with teachers on the picket line outside Bristol Cathedral School
Teachers on the picket line outside Bristol Cathedral School
TUC general secretary Paul Nowak is writing to Mr Barclay to urge him to meets with unions representing junior doctors, stressing his concern about the lack of engagement and meaningful negotiation which he said is prolonging the dispute.
He said it was time for a ‘reset’ on the public sector pay disputes.
‘Ministers should stop wasting time and stonewalling negotiations.
‘All of our public sector workers, including our doctors, our teachers and civil servants, deserve a fair pay deal.
‘If the Government does not reach a fair settlement on pay, the recruitment and retention crisis crippling frontline services will only get worse.’
Nurses rejected a deal over anger at how the Government has handled negotiations, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said.
Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Sir Keir said: ‘What’s happened in the nurses’ case is really instructive, because actually the union recommended the deal and the nurses themselves rejected it.
‘That tells you just how angry the nurses are, because that’s quite unusual.’
A Department for Education spokesperson said: ‘Any strike action is hugely damaging. We have made a fair and reasonable pay offer to teachers recognising their hard work and commitment.
‘Thanks to the further £2 billion pounds we are investing in our schools, next year, school funding will be at its highest level in history.’
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