Watch: Teachers’ concerns have reached ‘boiling point’, say staff taking part in NUT strike

Teachers taking part in a march in central London tell TES why they have downed tools today

East London-based nursery teacher Chris McQuaid said he was concerned about teaching assistants losing their jobs, rising class sizes and heavy workloads that forced teachers to work for 12 hours a day. Teachers’ concerns had reached “boiling point”, he said.

Carol Hopwood, a secondary school teacher in south London, said she was protesting because schools are being forced to make cuts despite a government pledge to ringfence education spending.

Southwark-based secondary teacher Emily Watson said that, as a young teacher, she was fighting for the future of the education system.

Secondary teacher Michael Parker argued that increased National Insurance costs meant schools faced funding cuts of 5 per cent. “Enough is enough,” he said. Primary teacher Ruth Gibson was worried about rising class sizes and believed “money should be no object” when it came to education.

History teacher Joe Cowley said he was protesting about forced academisation, which he said “runs roughshod over local democracy and the needs of our community”. He added that the introduction of performance-related pay was a sign that the government did not understand “what teachers are about”.

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