TEACHER STRIKES: Horsham district braces for teacher strikes today

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Thousands of children are unable to attend school in the Horsham district today (Thursday October 17) due to teacher strikes.

Across the Horsham district, at least 19 schools will be disrupted due to the strike action, forcing thousands of parents to make alternative plans for the day.

Teachers representing two unions, the NUT and the NASUWT, will walk out at schools across the country.

A teacher and NUT member at Christ’s Hospital School, speaking on behalf of all NUT members at the school, said though Christ’s Hospital teachers will not strike, they are in ‘full support’ of the strike action.

Will Wearden told the County Times: “As a boarding school it is impractical and not the right thing for us to take strike action, but we are in full support of our colleagues at state schools that are doing so.

“Teachers do not strike often, it is serious and drastic action taken when things are affecting them and also the future quality of education.”

Dave Thomas, the divisional secretary of the NUT, said the protest is occurring because ‘there needs to be a change’ in the government’s attitude.

He said: “Strike action is never a step that teachers take lightly and we are very aware and concerned about the inconvenience it causes parents.

“Unfortunately we are faced with a coalition government that is refusing to listen to the reasonable demands of the profession.

“There needs to be a change in the government’s attitude to teachers and education.”

Chris Keates, the general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “The overwhelming majority of teachers in the region will be on strike today.

“No teacher has any wish to inconvenience parents or disrupt pupils’ education, but this action is not the failure or due to the unreasonableness of teachers.”

However, Deborah Lawson, the general secretary of Voice, the ‘union for education professionals’, has criticised the strike action.

She said: “Teachers’ strikes are futile, counter-productive and empty-gesture politics.

“There is little, if any, public support for strike action by teachers.”

West Sussex County Council confirmed the following schools will be fully closed: Itchingfield Primary School, Kingslea Primary School and Shelley Primary School.

The list of partially closed schools is as follows: the Weald School, the Forest School, St Mary’s Church of England Primary School, North Heath Community Primary School, Twineham Church of England Primary School, Albourne Church of England Primary School, Upper Beeding Primary School, Steyning Grammar School, Leechpool Primary School, Holbrook Primary School, Loxwood Primary School, Wisborough Green Primary School, West Chiltington Community School, Billingshurst Primary School, Millais and Tanbridge House.

Have the strikes affected you today? Get in touch - email harley.tamplin@jpress.co.uk with your views.