Teachers say parents are backing strike

The majority of the borough's schools remained open despite teachers walking out on strike.

Wednesday, 6th July 2016, 2:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:52 pm
The Wigan NUT delegation at the Manchester demonstration

Some schools faced partial closures but most remained open after National Union of Teachers (NUT) members went on strike to show their anger at ongoing funding cuts.

The NUT said it had called for the one-day strike because the funding freeze imposed by Chancellor George Osborne was leading to increased class sizes, cuts to the curriculum and worsening conditions for teachers.

Wigan NUT’s divisional secretary Max Atkins said: “As a result, your child’s education is suffering.

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“Since at least 2010 when I became secretary, the NUT has been telling this government every year that a bulge in the birth rate will lead to increased class sizes by 2017 unless they give local authorities the money they need to build new schools.

“Instead, they have squandered literally billions on forcing through their unwanted Academies programme.

“This proves the class size problem has nothing to do with “immigrants”, as certain individuals have been saying in the run up to the EU Referendum.

“First, most are not immigrants but refugees, escaping from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq and parts of Africa where civil wars are raging. Second, we have a duty to let them in, not turn against them and blame them for all that is wrong with this country. This is NOT 1930s Germany.”

More than 90 per cent of NUT members who voted were in favour of the strike action. Mr Atkins continued: “We have repeatedly asked the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, to invest in education, to no avail. This investment is in the interests of our country, our children’s education, our teachers and support staff. We have had to resort to strike action to bring national attention to these issues.

“We had a Saturday stall in Wigan at the weekend where we handed out balloons and cakes to children and spoke to their parents regarding why we were on strike.

“Every single one backed our action and many even wanted to know why the other teaching unions were not also on strike to support their children’s education.”