Strikes could follow unions’ survey on funding crisis

Strike action could be on the cards after three education unions jointly announced they were each to “consult” their members this month on what action to take after Phillip Hammond opted to give schools £400 million for “little extras”. Tes reports.

In a joint-statement issued today, the National Education Union (NEU), the NAHT headteachers’ union and the Association of School and College Leaders said the cash “does not remotely address” the 8 per cent real-terms decline in total school spending per pupil over the past eight years. 

At the NEU, around 400,000 members will be engaged in a “survey”, mostly electronically, with one question specifically asking if they would vote for strike action.

Geoff Barton, ASCL’s general secretary, said the union’s 19,000 members would simply be asked an open question along the lines of: “What do you think the ASCL should do next?”

He told Tes: “I wouldn’t be surprised if people say in their response that there should be industrial action but I wouldn’t want to pre-empt it.”

The NAHT will be consulting more than 29,000 school leaders across England, Wales and Northern Ireland about “next steps”.

General secretary Paul Whiteman said: “Schools and young people are definitely much too far down the government’s list of priorities, and for them, austerity is most certainly not over. We will be taking all appropriate action to influence the content of the Spending Review in the spring. And we must be clear: only new money from the Treasury will solve the school funding crisis.”  

The separate consultations will open in the week ending 16 November.

Read more Strikes could follow unions’ survey on funding crisis

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