Legal action launched in effort to head off strike over sixth form funding

The Guardian is reporting that the government is taking teachers’ leaders to court in an attempt to head off a strike over “inadequate” sixth form funding.

The National Union of Teachers announced a one-day national strike will take place next Tuesday by its sixth form college members, who are in dispute over the what the NUT describes as the “detrimental” impact of current funding levels on terms and conditions for staff.

The Department for Education (DfE) has said it will challenge the action in the high court in London on Monday, where the NUT is promising to “robustly defend its right to strike to protect jobs and conditions”…

Union leaders say the government’s decision to take them to court is as much an attack on the right to strike as the trade union bill that is going through parliament.

A DfE spokesperson accused the NUT of seeking to disrupt the education of thousands of students through “an unlawful dispute”, which was based on political grounds rather than a trade dispute about the terms and conditions of its members.

“We therefore intend to challenge this through the courts,” the spokesperson said. “We recognise the importance of investing in education which is why, thanks to the difficult decisions we have taken elsewhere, we have been able to protect core 16-to-19 funding.

“At the same time we have ended the unfair difference between post-16 schools and colleges by funding them per student to ensure that all young people leave education with the skills they need to thrive in modern Britain…”

More (including comment from Kevin Courtney) at: Legal action launched in effort to head off strike over sixth form funding


Do you think teachers at sixth form colleges should be able to strike over funding or is it unreasonable to disrupt the education of their students, as the DfE is arguing?

Please let us know which side you would take, and why, in the comments or via Twitter…


Should teachers be able to strike over issues of policy?

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  1. Strikes less disruptive than closing sixth forms and colleges or reducing provision due to inadequate funding.  Closure would affect teachers’ jobs but would affect pupils more. 
    Will be interesting if the Judge agrees with the Government that the strike is unlawful because it’s fighting a policy or whether s/he agrees that the policy will affect teachers’ jobs, pay and conditions and is therefore legal.

Let us know what you think...