Tes round-up: a teacher strikes special

Teachers walked out in the first national strike in England and Wales for seven years on Wednesday, with official figures suggesting that more than half of schools were either fully or partly closed.

It was the first of seven strike days planned by the biggest teaching union, the NEU, and after this week’s walkout the union’s leaders warned education secretary Gillian Keegan that she has a deadline to come up with an improved pay offer to avoid further action.

Tes delivered unrivaled live updates and video reports throughout the day, with teachers on the picket lines telling us that they didn’t want to be on strike and “none of us want to be out of the classroom” but “we have to do this in order for students’ education to improve”.

In other news, school support staff unions issued their own demands for a pay rise; the controversial shake-up of the initial teacher training sector was labeled a “huge distraction” by one of the government’s own expert advisers; and new research suggested that an Ofsted inspector’s gender can influence their inspection judgments.

Catch up on your must-read Tes news and analysis articles from the past week right here:

  • Teacher strike day: as it happened
    Tes‘ live blog on Wednesday delivered updates throughout the day on the strike action across England and Wales, including video interviews and all the reaction.
  • The teacher strikes in review: “It’s a joke to say we’re letting pupils down”
    Teachers on the picket lines and attending rallies told Tes that they would rather be in the classroom but they were striking because “there is a crisis in the teaching profession” and “the future of state education” is at stake.
  • More than half of schools fully or partly closed
    Data from the Department for Education showed that more than half of schools across England were fully or partly closed as teachers walked out on strike.
  • How schools deal with the strikes
    School leaders reveal the arrangements they put in place to keep children learning and support vulnerable pupils during the strike.
  • Keegan warned she is ‘on notice’ over further walkouts.
    Education secretary Gillian Keegan has been warned by the NEU that she has a deadline to come up with a new pay offer to avoid a repeat of Wednesday’s strike.
  • Has teacher pay in the UK risen with inflation, and how does it compare?
    After this week’s industrial action over pay, Callum Mason looked at teacher pay levels across the UK and how they compare with salaries in other countries.
  • Strike-day Oak National use was double the Omicron peak
    The use of remote lessons from Oak National Academy on the strike day this week was double the daily average logged during the Omicron Covid wave last year, new data shows.
  • Last-ditch talks fail to avert teacher strike
    After eleventh-hour talks on Monday failed to find a resolution to the pay dispute, the NEU said the education secretary had “squandered an opportunity to avoid strike action”.
  • Keegan: Teachers should tell heads if they plan to strike.
    Before Wednesday’s action, the education secretary urged the NEU to ask its members to “alert” headteachers as to whether they were planning to strike. But the NEU responded by saying that it was “very appropriate” for teachers to withhold their strike plans from school leaders.
  • Why the road to teacher strikes could have been avoided
    The government’s own independent teacher pay review body has been warning it for years about the dangers of failing to increase pay and improve the pay structure. If only it had listened, writes Yvonne Williams.
  • Support staff unions demand 12.7 per cent pay rise
    Three unions that represent school support staff – Unison, GMB and Unite – are asking for an above-inflation pay rise for 2023-24, saying that the pay increase accepted last November has been “completely wiped out” by rising household costs.
  • ITT reaccreditation “a huge distraction”, says DfE adviser
    The government’s controversial reaccreditation process for the teacher training sector – which is likely to result in the loss of a quarter of providers – was a “huge distraction” and it should not have happened, according to a Department for Education expert adviser.
  • Male Ofsted inspectors “give primaries higher grades”
    According to new research into how the characteristics of individual inspectors can affect the grade a school is awarded, male Ofsted inspectors are more likely than female inspectors to give higher grades to similar primary schools.

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