10 Things Teachers Do On Strike Day

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What do teachers do on strike day?

At the weekend, I blogged that Schools face 8% cuts in funding in real terms over the next few years, and although I support the reasons for the NUT strike on Tuesday 5th July, 2016, I cannot strike because my union (ASCL) did not ballot their members.

91% of NUT members voted for industrial action; a union with 330,000 members.

Reason For Strike Action:

Schools face 8% of funding cuts in real terms over the next few years. One example in a school I know, is that a headteacher is working with £1 million pound less in their budget, when compared to just three years ago. You can imagine what impact this has on resources, alongside increases in inflation and pension contributions.
The task for a headteacher and a school bursar to balance the books becomes an incredible challenge to a) ensure teaching staff are deployed and paid fairly and b) funding is used wisely to support the school’s curriculum and its students. This, alongside a system, that is already bombarded with league tables and decisions that lack evidence and transparency.
In the current climate, teachers have every right to be full of emotion, anger and frustration. So, before I share my 10 things teachers do on strike days, tweet this message below to show your support for teachers.
This is a light-hearted poke at ourselves, on a day that should be taken very seriously – including myself – by those working in the profession. I do not blog here to undermine the action, I blog to raise awareness.

10 Things Teachers Do:

Here are the 10 things teachers do on strike days – and remember, this section is parody with an underlying tone of gravity.

  1. Teaching is exhausting. It is likely that teachers will stay in bed and have a lie in.
  2. If sleeping is not applicable, it is highly likely that teachers with children, will be up out of their beds from 6:00am anyway. Many teachers will be facing their own childcare issues and may find their child’s school, also closed for industrial action. For those teachers not striking, they may be faced with a forced day at home for childcare, or that their employer have allowed colleagues to bring their child into school premises to compensate. Either way, teachers are doing it for the kids.
  3. If none of the above apply, some teachers may use the opportunity to catch up on (undisturbed) marking!
  4. Some teachers may have a lesson observation planned before the end of the academic year. Worse, some may have had the OfSTED phone-call and some will use the opportunity to plan lessons and adapt schemes of work.
  5. It’s that time of year when reports are due to be posted home. Subject teacher, tutor or head of year, it is likely you will have between 20 and 250 reports to write before the end of the week.
  6. In between doing all of the above, the email culture in our schools find teachers spending more and more time at their desks, not with students. If that’s the case, there is a high chance that teachers will spend their day deleting emails from personal devices – which is rapidly becoming the expected form of 24/7 communication between teachers, schools and parents – to reduce the burden of tasks to be completed.
  7. If there are any opportunities left to do non-work related activities, teachers will get very annoyed about politicians speaking about strike action on the radio or television. They may laugh at jokes on Twitter, claiming ‘teachers get enough holidays!’
  8. If teachers want to relax, I have known teachers to use the opportunity to go shopping or even to the pub.
  9. Some spend time at on home DIY jobs, or plan something to do for the forthcoming school holidays; e.g. booking flights.
  10. Better than all of the above, if I was striking, I know what I would be doing. I’d go to a local rally to support strike action and march in solidarity.

Let’s remember, strike action means refusing to carry out your employment duties. (NUT guidance)

On the day of the strike, you can join hundreds of thousands of other teachers in demonstrating your support for the cause and for the principles and values which brought you into teaching. Union activities will be taking place all over England.

Lives Will Not Be Damaged:

Children’s lives will NOT be damaged by a one-day dispute, but their education will be damaged by policies that force all schools to become academies – employing staff without qualifications or selling off local authority land – or worse, forcing students to study a specific curriculum. If reducing budgets see a teacher’s tasks increase, or budgets cut to pay them fairly, resources will be stretched in the one area, schools need the most. Teachers.

Current policies and cuts are damaging the purpose of what we are trying to do on the ground.

It is the quality of teaching that has the greatest impact on students. If we don’t recruit more teachers to the profession, help manage workload or pay teachers fairly, then why on earth would you want to be a teacher in today’s climate?

Follow the NUTstrike live and stand up for education.


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4 thoughts on “10 Things Teachers Do On Strike Day

  1. In the interests of clarity, shouldn’t that read 23% of NUT members voted for industrial action (91% of the 25% who voted)?

  2. Without being pedantic that’s not the statistic reported. The BBC report says that “91% of those who voted backed the action. The turnout was 25%.” Stating that as “91% of NUT members voted for industrial action” is misleading.

    1. Of course it’s misleading – that’s journalism. Never reporting all the facts. For clarification = 25% of 330,000 members voted. Of that number, 91% said strike action.

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