Poll: Do you support the strike action to be taken by teachers this week?

More than 100 primary and secondary schools across the West Midlands are expected to be severely disrupted on Wednesday as they close or partially shut when teachers stage a national walkout.

Teachers strike
A placard from the teachers' protest march last October in Birmingham.

Dozens of schools across the Black Country, Staffordshire and Wyre Forest areas face disruption when the National Union of Teachers stages its one-day strike over pay and conditions.

Head teachers have admitted that the action would make it difficult for many schools to stay open.

We want to know what you think:

Although few councils in the West Midlands are yet to provide full lists of closures, individual schools are informing parents via letter or by their websites.

See our list of schools affected by the strike action

Comments for: "Poll: Do you support the strike action to be taken by teachers this week?"

Washburn

How can any parent support a strike when teachers and head teachers have vilified them for taking kids out of school?

Maybe every parent in each affected school should take the school to the small claims court for costs incurred due to strike action, then maybe these megalomaniac teachers would think twice before they attack a parent. Then maybe we may have some sympathy with them.

ste

Because as a parent my child's education is extremely important. I want my child to have inspiring lessons lead by enthusiastic teachers.

I'm not saying I agree with fining parents for taking their children out of school (a recent poll shows that 71% of teachers don't agree with that either btw) but you can't compare a few days off for a holiday with strike about things that will effect a child's entire education

Johneboywolves

I've said it before and stick by it. Unfortunately the majority of teachers never see the light of day outside of academia therefore they are removed from 'real world' consequences'. The teachers with school children will be at home that day so it won't impact them 1 iota. Strikes were a last resort measure to bring both parties to a forced negotiation and still should be. Have all reasonable measures been exhausted prior to the strike? All teachers with a sense of responsibility to the community, that also pays their wages, should reconsider what they are doing and act intelligently.

Ivor

I never got a degree and still work to pay taxes for this lot and now they want a politically motivated strike over pay and conditions, are they having a laugh ?

The West Midlands has some of the lowest achieving schools in the UK and the UK in general is slipping to the bottom of the world ranking. Shanghai,Singapore, even Vietnam now have higher standards than the UK

I hope these “enlightened” teachers have a long hard look at why kids in the UK had a better education in bombed out Britain 50 years ago and why we have to import Maths teachers from China

ste

The reason why Vietnam ranks high is because only rich and intelligent children go to school. There is an extremely high drop out rate of non-academic pupils who are not counted when these tables are drawn up.

I'm not sure why you think education was better 50 years ago. All the data and studies show that literacy and numeracy levels have changed very little (a slight rise in fact) and the amount of children going on to college or university has rocketed.

Ivor

These pesky rich keep causing so many problems, after all Ed Miliband is a multi millionaire.

Perhaps you also missed that all around the world people class education as a ladder to freedom?

and a way to get out of the socialist poverty trap.

We could say its 23 year old teachers with such a vast set of life skills and a degree in dance are not really suitable for teaching 19year old students maths

I'm more inclined to say that its Local Education Authorities controlled by Councillors who have NO qualifications and don’t know the difference between a spread sheet or a bed sheet.

ste

What has mentioning Ed Milliband got to do with anything? I mentioned rich people in Vietnam because they can afford to pay for private tuition - hence rich children get better results. Poor children drop out of school and are not included in PISA results.

and someone with a drama degree cannot teach maths to a 19 year old

Ivor

Hours spent drafting lesson plans with individual student needs identified, WILL NOT improve teaching, just after the War demobs were allowed to teach WITHOUT a teaching qualification, these “Real unqualified teachers” educated the people that designed and built the TRS2 , blue streak, and others and presided over a country with full employment, these teachers even got salary enhancements for teaching in “deprived” areas.

We move to the 1960's socialist comprehensive “experiment”, which removed from the poor access to free higher education and gave us none competitive sports, later the socialists disgracefully introduced charges for all higher education.

The British education systems of the 1950's was the envy of the world, The German system is British even the French baccalaureate is a version of the old British Matriculation and old school certificate.

I genuinely feel sorry for teachers has they have to work inside a socialist system designed to produce a supply of state dependent voters not job applicants

Berbizier

Awkward one. There is a large degree of hypocrisy going on where parents are vilified for taking children out of school - the points around missing vital lessons and time in school are valid - but they also apply to strike days and unnecessary snow days. That said, I support the right and duty of any professionals to stand up and defend the terms and conditions of their employment, but I can't help thinking in this case that a few token days here and there aren't helping the cause.

markie

As I see it teachers are very well paid and even after the gold plated pensions have been bought into line with what the taxpayer can afford will still have a better pensions deal than the vast majority of taxpayers. All this for a job thats not even full time when compared with most other working class people.

If they value the education of their pupils like they say they do why dont they withdraw their labour during one of the school holidays instead of working like they say they do?

It is interesting to note that those schools that are regarded as "good" or better are less likely to be closed due to industrial action. It illustrates that those teachers with true commitment to their job perform better than the self-centered people going on strike.

Why not give a tax-free bonus to all those teachers who carry on working during the strikes, this could be funded from the pay that those striking lose.

ste

Teachers work an average of 50-60 hours a week. I'd say that's pretty much full time.

And if a teacher withdrew their labour during the school holidays how are they going to teach the next term with no lesson plans?

markie

Some teachers, mostly those new to teaching work as long as you say and some use a portion of their long holidays to do plans. Lots of these plans can be used year after year. with little or no change.

I know quite a few teachers who go abroad for most of the holidays and just pop into the school for a day or two just before the start of the new term to prepare.

I live close to a few teachers who are home before 4pm and out in their gardens for the rest of the day.

I don;t blame them I would do the same if I could get away with it.

StJoe

Planning is done every day and takes hours to do. there is much too much paper works now in school bogging teachers down.

Never mind living close to teachers, or even knowing a few......Try the job first, then you might have learned something new!

Washburn

I take it you have some vested interest in teaching. These teachers have had the upper hand for way too long, and public opinion is certainly against them. Take you kids on holiday get lambasted because they lose out on vital education.. Go on strike it now does not matter, oh and lets not forget when it snows. Hypocrites the lot of them...

seaside001

Let's get a few things straight.

a - Children overseas doing better than British children. In places such as Malaysia, Singapore, China and South Korea, education is valued by all, rich and poor alike. Here, there are sections of society where parents have no interest in their children's education, do not support the school or staff in ensuring their children attend regularly, respect the staff and do homework.

b - In the Far Eastern countries mentioned the children are well-behaved, do as they are told, don't cheek or insult teachers and staff also have recourse to the cane. Additionally, staff are treated as professionals and trusted to teach without interference. Here, teachers are treated with contempt and constantly monitored by the overbearing hand of Ofsted which changes its mind on best teaching practice as often as the weather. Thus teachers don't know what is expected of them. They are supervised like shelf stackers in Tesco and have their professionalism insulted at every turn.

The ill-informed who spout how teaching is easy with all the holidays etc should ask themselves why the average recruit to teaching straight from college only lasts approximately three years. They could also ask themselves why there are more qualified teachers working in industry and commerce than in the classroom. If teaching is so wonderful, why does the government have to constantly advertise for new recruits and why is there a shortage in some areas?

Teaching is the only so-called "profession I know where every man and his dog has an opinion on how it should be done despite not one in a thousand of the bar-room know-it-all has actually stood up in front of an audience and spoken on a topic. They wouldn't tell a heart surgeon how to do a bypass but they are so knowledgeable about teaching.

markie

And what about all of the teachers who have left industry and commerce to take up teaching?

Don't forget also that teachers still retire at age 60 and need to be replaced.

Woody65

Just a guess, but are you a teacher by any chance? Or are you married to one and feel the need to justify their vocation?

Blue Boy

Go on strike during the half term holidays.

4 race & nation

Don't let the communist unions dictate strike action. Your chridren's future comes first. No strike.

EyePad

What is there not to support?

Everone at work has the right to withdraw their labour and suffer the loss of pay.

It is a pity many more do not follow the teacher way.

Students used to sit in to protest about incorrect management of Universities?

What do they do now? They start at 8.30, they learn to raise money for a 'business' or charity and wear corporate clothes. Travelling on their speeding coaches to their schools

Lets fit in and be Uncle Toms.

Another brick in the wall guys, that is all you have become.

Get a life and make that stand against the downward spiral that management has introduced as the only way forward i.e. to make more profit at the expense of the very hard working person.

Up the NUTters

seaside001

Those teachers who come come from industry have the lowest retention levels. The romance soon vanishes as they scurry back to a less stressful existence - usually following a few rows with irate parents about little Poppy or George - and a decent pay packet. I and my colleagues took early retirement after being told by Ofsted our department was deficient despite a 100% pass rate three years running when the National average was only 33% Having failed to recruit sufficient replacements us "failures" were asked if we would like to come back part-time. Obviously we told them to get stuffed.

Perhaps Markie ans Woody could do the job, they appear to be experts in the field.

Woody65

Where in my comment did I profess to be an expert? I didn't, but it would appear I hit a raw nerve based on your latest comment.

In any profession there are a good and bad performers, the good should be rewarded and the bad should be retrained or removed.

Why should teachers be treated any differently to other professions? They are not an elite band, though some think they are! Doctors, nurses, police, firemen, refuse collectors, shop workers the list goes on do as valid as job as the teacher. The only difference is their discipline procedures are more rigorous than those of a teacher. Who are, unfortunately, more difficult to remove should they prove to be poor and ineffective.

I agree teachers should do all they can to protect their pensions, but be able to recognise changes have to be made in relation to other sectors. However, when it comes to performance, teachers should have performance related pay increases like any other sector. They should also be removed if it is found they are poor to the point that they affect a child's education. After all, you wouldn't let a bad surgeon continue to operate!

Surely constructive dialogue is more productive than striking? something which has been recognised and adopted by the NASUWT who know change is inevitable.

seaside001

No raw nerves here mate, I'm out of it and enjoying retirement. Still feel sorry for the poor sods who have to go to school or college and have their professionalism insulted on a daily basis. As WheredoIsign says, I don't miss spending hours preparing lessons according to the latest Ofsted diktat only to be told later that it's all changed again.

No sir, out of it and picking up my new four door saloon today then it's off for lunch with my dear wife. Happy Days!!

Woody65

Enjoy... Try the Foley Arms in Stourbridge, good value for money.

seaside001

As my name suggests, I am 150 miles away from the Foley Arms. No, I shall have lunch overlooking a bay, watching the cruise liners come and go and finishing off with a nice single malt.

andyinstoke

I won't be able to do that when I'm retired as my pension won't be good enough, maybe I should get into teaching, even with the changes, the pensions and payrises are better than my industry, which I do for 50-60 hours a week - all year.

ste

Considering every child is different and every child has different capabilities how are you going to implement performance related pay?

Where is the incentive to challenge pupils if there is a chance that they may fail? What is the point in inspiring pupils to think for themselves when it would be better just to spoon feed them to get the boxes ticked? Why bother with those less academic pupils?

Woody65

I'm not. That's down to the department of education and the heads of individual schools.

ste

Who will pass it down to the teachers, increasing their workload even more. Leaving less time to spend on actual teaching. Which is one of the reasons for the strike in the first place.

markie

All the people that I know that came in from the outside stayed there because they found it a more benign environment and better rewarded.

I'm as expert as anybody else who has been a user of the system over 3 generations. Sometimes from the outside looking in you can be more objective.

I would not wish to be a teacher and I admit I would be no good. But I know a good teacher when I see one.

WheredoIsign

Working hours 8:45 - 3:15, 13 weeks holiday a year? Where do I sign?? What a perfect job!

Oh hold on, forgot about arriving at 7:30 to prepare for the day, leaving at 6:30 after sorting out admin and paper work, doing 2 to 3 hours of marking at home and then going to bed to start all over again the next day. Also mustn't forget the 10 to 12 hours worked over the weekend to prepare lessons for the coming months. Nice easy job that, only 70+ hours a week.

And then there's the 13 weeks holiday. Not a problem, all teachers have laptops these days so they can be taken on family holidays so that the work required for the next term can be planned. But then that's OK as the planning can be used for years to come. Oh but it can't as some genius who hasn't set foot in a school since they left aged 16 decides they know best about how a school should be run and changes the goalposts more often that they change their underwear.

Of course, it's much easier in China, Vietnam, Singapore etc, their teaching is much better as their pupils get better results. How many classes in those countries have 70% of pupils whos 1st language is not that of their home nation? Very few if any I suspect.

If teaching is so easy why is there a recruitment/retainment problem at the moment? New teachers last aorund 3 years and teachers with 20+ years of experience are considering chucking it all in as they have had enough.

Support the strike and teachers? You bet!

markie

If I was a teacher I would take the first option! And many of them do!

Some teachers who take the easy option are still very good and some work all the hours given and are still poor. Its the same in most jobs.

I have not said teachings easy. For some it is. A friend of mine is an excellant teacher in an outstanding school and he really does take the easy option.

Most supermarkets have recruitment and retention problems and that work is not too difficult,

Striking will not change the teacher's lot but it does affect the children;s families very badly and will, in time, adversly affect relationships with the parents.

Striking is uncalled for and a very selfish action.

Stanna

I have a lot of respect for the overall job that teachers do.

In these times of austerity, however, no one should be exempt from bearing some of the "pain".

It does seem a little unfair that parents who take their children on holiday can be fined, yet when schools close their doors because of this strike or teacher training etc parents have to cope with the disruption to their working lives without compensation?

Returning to the subject of austerity even if teachers keep their pensions without change do they really think that they will get away with it? My thoughts are that those who are fortunate to have larger retirement income will face higher taxation to help cover the cost of those who need to claim benefits in their retirement.

LJP7

Where has all this teacher hatred come from? Teaching used to be a respected profession and yet it's a profession that's now criticised at every turn, despite being harder than ever.

I am not a teacher but I work with schools on a daily basis and have friends and family members who are teachers. I have seen first hand how thankless the job is and have been put off for life.

The government move the goalposts constantly and I don't know a single teacher who works these so-called "part-time" hours. I also know retired teachers who left the profession because it had become impossible to do well according to the eyes of Ofsted.

Anyone who thinks they could do better should get themselves qualified and join the profession, then they will see the reality.

seaside001

The Heating Engineer

For those non-teachers who comment on this site, I give you the following to assist your comprehension. Assume you are a professionally fully qualified plumber/central heating engineer with over twenty years experience. You are called to a house to extend a cold feed for a washing machine. For a person who has installed gas boilers for decades, this is a simple task; rather like a Michelin starred chef making a cup of tea. You pull out the washing machine and commence removing the old tap.

Ding Dong - the doorbell

It's a colleague from work who is checking on you as the "peer review" policy of the company. As you have only just started he has little to comment on except that your toolbox looks a little untidy which he notes and leaves. As the old tap has been there for 20 years and stuck on,you are having difficulty removing it.

Ding Dong

Your manager has arrived for a "spot inspection" He comments that you appear to be lagging behind the standard time allowed for this job and it is against company policy to pull out the machine as the company would be liable if you broke it. You tell him that the householder is over 70 years old and is incapable of moving it. He notes this and leaves. Five minutes later...

Ding Dong

An inspector has arrived from the suppliers to check that you are fitting the company's product correctly. After a good look around he is happy and leaves. Five minutes later...

Ding Dong

An inspector arrives from the Institute of Plumbers. He checks the standard of work and comments that you didn't inform the householder to keep clear of a work area - a potential hazard procedure. The only equipment used was a spanner and the householder came into the kitchen once briefly, six feet from where you were working to make a cup of tea. This is noted.

You have now finished and clearing away ...

Ding Dong

It's a Her Majesty's Inspector of Plumbers. he checks the work and notes you didn't have a scheme of work detailing how you would do the job. You inform him that you have been doing this trivial procedure 3 times a week for over 20 years and need no paperwork to remind you what to do. He also notes that you didn't push the machine back. You tell him company policy dictates you cannot do this due to liability concerns. None of this cuts any ice with the inspector. When he has gone you push the machine back anyway. The Householder is so impressed with your work he writes a letter of thanks to your boss extolling your skills and workmanship.

Two weeks later you are having an appraisal with your boss. You are told your toolbox was shoddy, failed to comply with company policy on touching customers' equipment, took longer than the standard time allowed, failed to acknowledge health and safety concerns and failed Her Majesty's inspection. Further, you must improve or face being put into special measures.

Now, readers, if you were faced with that insulting nonsense in your job like I and my colleagues had to tolerate, is it any wonder we took early retirement when a 100% pass rate is not considered good enough and must be improved. Still fancy being a teacher?

Glenda

Seaside 001, funny enough Mr Gove said something very similar about bureaucracy was destroying the profession and teachers were paid to teach not fill in lots of little forms and these forms had to be checked by others on very high salaries, but he got ridiculed. These teachers are fighting the correct fight in the wrong direction

markie

Very funny, even if exagerated. It has not, however, changed my view about the strike or the majority of the workers involved.

I do agree that the pace of change has been too much, and that the degree of "interference" is ridiculous.

I also believe that parents should support teachers as much as possible, even if they think the teacher is wrong. Teachers need to earn respect though, and the type of behavior seen today will not help them.

seaside001

No exaggeration, markie.

Colleague and peer review is identical

For Boss read Head of Department

For Company Inspector read Internal Verifier

For Institute of Plumbers read External Verifier

For Plumbing Inspector read Ofsted Inspector

Five different inspectors on one person who is degree and teacher trained and supposed to be a professional. The whole idea of a professional is they need need no supervision. You trust them to do the job. My attitude was if I couldn't be trusted without constant inspection then stuff it. That is why I am now sitting by the seaside enjoying life and not being insulted. I would be teaching now if they had left me alone.

Seaside 001 a most amusing post and very apt too.

Lucky Man

It's been great sitting here, reading all of the different comments about teachers. I suppose that I'm one of the lucky ones as I've no schoolage children and I managed to get out at 55 with what one person describes as a "Guilt edged" pension.....I think that they are having a laugh!!!

Now that the boot's on the other foot, I could but mention people like the London Underground staff who went on strike for 3 days, bringing chaos to London! That's different because many of the whingers would just pick up the phone and fake a cough!!!

Yes, the teachers are well paid and they do get reasonable pensions, but when you work many hours each week, most spending at least 60 hours with preparation and marking, why shouldn't you get the respect that you deserve? Teachers are treated like the scum of the earth by some parents...it's about time that many accepted their "reply"! Oh, and one more thing....if the teachers want to go away on holiday, they have to pay top dollar......

That's covered some of the points I've read.....back to the sun and the beach now!!!!

markie

Thank you teachers for acting like children to get your own way.

Graham

As a medic we are always told never allow politics to interfere with patient care and as far as I know that is how it is. I would however state though I do not use my real name for obvious reasons those working in the public sector do enjoy certain benefits that those in a the private sector may not. I have much sympathy for teachers who do a difficult job in very difficult circumstances although I can also understand parents frustration too. Many years ago an mp came to our A & E department and asked me the following question " if you could do one thing to improve the health service what would it be" I thought for a moment and said hmmmm that's a difficult one but I suppose I would do the same thing in health care,education the armed forces and all public services, he looked thoughtful and after a moment said and what would that be ? I answered I would remove politicians from those aforementioned services. His answer ? He simply turned and walked away. Says it all really.

benji

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!!

Listen to you all....the working people of this country once again turning against each other whilst the powers from up above threaten and demand us all to accept ever increasing cuts because "we are all in this together! !!

I`m not a teacher, I`m not even a parent but we all must come together and realise we are the working people doing our best in ever increasing difficult times. No one ever wants to go on strike but I understand the frustrations when employers refuse to negotiate. Look and listen to Michael Gove, a man clearly with his own power driven agenda. This is about us all supporting each other regardless of occupation, colour or creed.