News Update


Pay is a “very difficult choice,” says the minister as the NEU goes out on strike in England.

Robert Halfon said that the government was trying to be fair to both teachers and taxpayers.

As members of the National Education Union (NEU) go on strike over pay, many schools are likely to close or close down in part.

The union said that it was up to the government to decide if there would be more strikes in the fall term.

Since February, Friday’s walkout is the seventh national strike day, but it’s the eighth day that most schools in England have been closed due to regional strikes.

On Wednesday, teachers also walked out.

There are no numbers yet on how many schools will be closed because of the strikes this week, but more schools than ever were hit by the last round of strikes in May.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said that the strike on Friday would mean that end-of-term events, like Year 6 students’ transition days to high school, would not happen.

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The government is thinking about next year’s pay after the independent pay review group gave a report.

This group is said to have suggested that teachers get a 6.5% pay raise, and education unions have said that the government is not acting on the report.

Mr. Halfon told BBC Breakfast that he hadn’t seen the final report, so he couldn’t say for sure that 6.5% was suggested.

He said that the government “has a very hard choice to make.” He said that decisions about teachers’ pay should be weighed against the fact that the government “has to spend billions of pounds helping people with the cost of living.”

“We have to be as fair as possible to teachers and support staff, who work very hard, but we also have to be fair to the taxpayer,” he said.

He said that after the report came out, the government would decide what to do.

Dr. Mary Bousted, the joint-general secretary of the NEU, said on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program that the reported offer was “credible.” She said it would be the “biggest award announced by a pay review body” and that teachers “deserved” it.

She said, “I think members would agree to 6.5% as long as it was paid for. That’s the big thing.”

“Schools can’t afford to pay teachers 6.5% more. We think that for this to happen, schools would need an average of 3% more money.”

When asked if she was worried that the government could overrule the pay review body, Dr. Bousted said, “Unfortunately, I think that’s a real possibility.” We hope that doesn’t happen.”

The NEU is holding a vote to decide if it will strike again in the fall. If it does, it could strike with three other education groups at the same time.

Dr. Bousted said that there would be no fall strikes if a fully-funded 6.5% raise was offered. He said that it was “in the hands of the government.”

For the year 2022-23, most state school teachers in England got a 5% pay raise.

The NEU wants teachers to get a pay raise that is more than the rate of inflation, as well as extra money to make sure that any pay raises don’t come from schools’ funds.

After a lot of discussion, the government offered a one-time payment of £1,000. It also said that most teachers would get a 4.3% raise next year and that their starting salaries would hit £30,000.

It was called a “fair and reasonable offer” by the Department for Education, which also said that schools would get an extra £2.3 billion over the next two years.

The offer was turned down by all four unions interested in the dispute.

According to figures from the government that came out last month, the number of full-time teachers who quit their jobs last year was the highest since records began in 2010.

But overall, there are now 468,400 teachers, up 2,800 from before. This is because more people have become teachers.



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