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Majority of schools affected as teachers stage strike day
MORE than half of all schools will be closed or partially shut today as thousands of teachers across the county go on strike.
Teachers defended their decision to strike over changes to their pay, pensions and working conditions.
But thousands of parents will have to make different childcare arrangements – and many are unhappy.
Last night, 148 schools had announced they were to either fully or partially close, while the other 135 said they would remain open.
Hailey Munt, 21, said her son, five-year-old Charlie, will be off as his school St Francis’ Church of England Primary School is closed.
The mum-of-two, from Fletcher Road, Cowley, said: “What I don’t understand is that they all go on about attendance at schools but this means all these kids will miss a day of school.”
Some parents, such as dad-of-three Chris Davis, 52, of Fairacres Road, Oxford, sympathise with the strike.
He said: “I think the teachers are now the last bulwark against the collapse of the education system.”
A rally at Oxford’s Bonn Square will take place today and many teachers will also travel to London to take part in a national rally.
There are more than 87,000 children at schools in Oxfordshire.
Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) will be involved in the strike.
NUT local secretary Gawain Little, a teacher at St Ebbe’s Primary School, South Oxford, said: “We appreciate the disruption this causes for parents and children and we want to apologise for that.
“We feel it has come to a point where we have to stand up for education and a strike is probably the most effective way of showing our feelings to Education Secretary Michael Gove.”
NASUWT Oxford secretary Michelle Codrington-Rogers , a teacher at The Cherwell School, North Oxford, said: It is an unreasonable level of pressure that is being put on schools and that will have an effect on children.”
Speaking about the impact on parents across the county, Cherwell School teacher Rae Hancock said: “It’s important to remember that teachers are parents too and they understand the difficulties.
“But the choice we are making is about keeping children’s education in our future.”
A member of non-teaching staff at a school in Bicester, who did not want to be named, said: “Some schools are closing when there are just one or two teachers off. I just think they are not doing themselves any favours.”
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