On Wednesday, February 1, 2023, more than half of schools in England either limited attendance or closed completely as a result of teachers being on strike – are they closed today, on Thursday, February 2?
Most of those public sector workers currently in the midst of strikes are taking action over pay not keeping pace with inflation.
Wednesday saw the biggest teachers’ strike in 15 years. Government data suggests that, while fewer than 10% of schools fully closed, nearly half restricted attendance. But today, the picture looks a little different.
Thursday, Feb 2nd: Are schools closed today and are teachers on strike?
No, schools are not closed on Thursday, February 2, 2023 – teachers are not on strike today.
The National Education Union’s next national strike will take place on February 14. However, it will only affect schools in Wales.
Two weeks later, on February 28, there will be a regional strike in the North, North West, and Yorkshire and the Humber.
There are two more strike dates planned for March 1 and March 2. Both are regional. The first will affect schools in the West Midlands, East Midlands and East; the second will affect schools in the South West, South East and London.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, teachers are striking in two local authorities per day until February 6. This means that actually, for those in Dundee and Argyll & Bute, both in Scotland, teachers are on strike. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean schools will be closed.
Finally, in Northern Ireland, February 21 will see many teachers strike for half a day.
Do schools have to close if teachers go on strike?
No. Headteachers use their discretion when deciding whether or not to close schools in the midst of teachers’ strikes.
However, since union members do not have to tell their employers if they plan to strike, closing schools has become something of a precautionary measure.
This is because headteachers cannot necessarily accurately predict the scale of disruption.
The i newspaper reports, meanwhile, that nonstriking teachers and support staff across England and Wales decided on Wednesday, and may do so in the coming weeks, to refuse to provide remote learning during walkouts. This is in solidarity with their striking colleagues.
Why are teachers going on strike in 2023?
Schools are not closed today (Thursday, February 2, 2023) – except possibly for those in Dundee and Argyll & Bute. But they may close again soon. The reason that teachers are striking is that, in real terms, their salaries have fallen significantly over the past 12 years.
The Guardian spoke to four teachers about what it calls “pay erosion,” and why working conditions and staff shortages are causing them to strike.
“Teachers are on their knees,” one told the paper. “This week alone I have worked almost 11 hours’ overtime. … We are seeing the impact of a decade of underfunding of all the social services, which has left us in a social crisis.”
The BBC adds that teacher salaries in England fell by an average of 11% between 2010 and 2022. That’s after taking rising prices into account.
Education secretary Gillian Keegan, meanwhile, says the government’s next school funding round will “take real-terms spending on schools to its highest level in history.”
In other news, Wild Margot Robbie and Daniel Vogelbach rumor on Twitter debunked
News Read More: Strike action to continue for weeks as UK teachers say they are ‘on their knees’