Teachers walk out of Wigan schools for second day of strike action in pay dispute

Lessons have been disrupted for school pupils across Wigan as teachers hold a second consecutive day of industrial action.
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Members of the National Education Union (NEU) were back on the picket line on Thursday as their long-running dispute with the Government over pay continues.

There were demonstrations outside St Paul’s Primary School in Goose Green, St Edmund Arrowsmith High School in Ashton and Winstanley College in Orrell, where teachers carried placards and made their voices heard.

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Teaching staff and supporters of the NE) on the picket line outside St Paul's CE Primary School in Goose GreenTeaching staff and supporters of the NE) on the picket line outside St Paul's CE Primary School in Goose Green
Teaching staff and supporters of the NE) on the picket line outside St Paul's CE Primary School in Goose Green

Max Atkins, joint district secretary for Wigan’s NEU branch, said: “We are here for the pupils. The Government gave a five per cent pay rise to us last year, but it wasn’t fully funded.

"That means all schools – not just in Wigan, but all over the country – have to find the difference out of their own budgets. Most schools can’t do that.

"The result is that they have to make people redundant.

"The first people to be made redundant are the support staff.

Max Atkins, Wigan NEU joint secretaryMax Atkins, Wigan NEU joint secretary
Max Atkins, Wigan NEU joint secretary

"Schools need support staff because they help with the children, the one-to-ones and the small group work, and the teachers as well.”

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The current industrial action began on Wednesday, when one Wigan school was shut to all children and a further 54 primary, secondary and special schools were partially closed.

St Thomas’s Primary in Golborne was the only school completely closed on Thursday, while 23 other schools were partially shut.

Members of the NEU joined hundreds of thousands of workers around the country taking industrial action in various disputes this week, including junior doctors, university lecturers, civil servants, London Underground drivers and BBC journalists.