Teachers plan strike vote after General Election

Flashback to the teachers rally  through Preston city centre last year
Flashback to the teachers rally through Preston city centre last year

Lancashire schools are facing classroom disruption after teachers voted to hold a post-election ballot over funding.

The National Union of Teachers has fired a warning shot to the next Government over future cuts to the education funding.

Basically, we need money putting into the education system. We need a first class education system to support economic recovery

Simon Jones, NUT

And it has warned that ignoring its members could lead to strike action.

Simon Jones, NUT executive member for Lancashire, said the conference called for all teacher unions to work together to defend education and stave off any further to the state education sector.

The meeting, held at Harrogate over the Easter break, was told that with pupil numbers rising and schools facing additional costs because of increases in employer National Insurance and pensions costs, the NUT is calling for all parties to commit to investing to provide extra school places and to protect education spending.

Mr Jones said: “The coalition Government has been really vindictive towards the North in terms of the cuts being skewed in favour of areas like the South East.

“The saying ‘education cuts never heal’ is very true and areas like Lancashire have seen massive cuts to their budgets compared to other places.”

Areas such as Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen have struggled to cope with cuts as high as 40% while others, such as Sussex, saw eight per cent reductions in funding.

He added: “Basically, we need money putting into the education system. We need a first class education system to support economic recovery.

“Funding levels needed to be restored to the levels required to support this vital investment in our future, including improved pay and conditions to reverse the growing teacher recruitment and retention problem.”

Mr Jones said although strike would be a last resort, it has not been ruled out, adding the vote was for a ballot on action up to and including strike.

The NUT joined forces with the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers last year and took part in three strikes, with rallies in Preston – the NASUWT was only involved in two.

They also joined public sector workers in their national rallies.