Everything we know so far about the threatened teachers’ strike as parents face not being able to send kids to school | The Sun

SCHOOLS could once again be forced to close if hundreds of thousands of teachers decide to strike.

Members of three unions are currently voting on whether to join other sectors taking industrial action – with the result due in days.

Downing Street today begged teachers not to walk out of classrooms and warned that kids’ education has suffered enough after lockdown disruption.

But Ministers and officials are already drawing up plans in case the unions pull the trigger and plunge schools into chaos.

Who could strike and why?  

The NASUWT, NAHT and NEU unions are each balloting their members on whether to stage strikes over pay.


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All of the voting closes next week on the 9, 11 and 13, respectively, with the result due shortly after.

Between them they cover hundreds of thousands of teachers right from primary schools to colleges across England, Scotland and Wales.

Union bosses called a strike ballot in protest at the 5 per cent pay rise handed to most teachers last year, branding it a real terms cut swallowed up by 11 per cent inflation.

Ministers have repeatedly refused to increase the recommendations made by the independent pay review body, meaning a new offer is very unlikely.

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When would strikes take place?

The strike dates would be decided and announced after the results, but February is the most likely month for industrial action. 

Will schools close?

Teacher strikes would obviously cause serious disruption, and some schools could be forced to close.

Headteachers ultimately decide whether to shut although the most recent Department for Education advice is to try to stay open if possible.

Government guidance last updated in 2016 tells heads to prepare as far advance as possible by asking teachers whether they intend to strike, although staff are not required to answer.

If staffing numbers are reduced, ministers are looking at letting vulnerable pupils or the children of key workers could stay in school like during Covid.

Volunteer teachers are allowed to be drafted in to help plug the staffing gap. 

Can parents take time off to look after kids?

Employees are allowed to take time off to look after their kids if absolutely necessary under government rules.

But mums and dads doing this might not be paid, depending on their company’s policy. 

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