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Teachers’ strike: hundreds of Leeds children missing school today

Empty classrooms: many schools across Leeds will be closed due to teachers' strike

Empty classrooms: many schools across Leeds are closed due to teachers’ strike

Hundreds of Leeds children are off school today as teachers strike over pay and conditions.

Leeds City Council said 35 schools were closed and 113 were partially closed. There are also 18 academies in the city which are independent of the council.

Parents of children from Horsforth Newlaithes Primary School complained about having to make childcare arrangements at the last minute.

Helen Thomson said: “My daughter now has to go to a relative because I work on a Wednesday. It’s just short notice to have to arrange for childcare.”

A spokesman from the Department for Education said: “Parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the Government’s measures to let heads pay good teachers more.”

But Leeds NUT secretary, Patrick Murphy, told Yorkshire Voice that the Government’s statement was misleading members of the public.

“The Government are not putting more money into schools,” he said. “Some teachers will get the pay they are entitled to now and others will not.”

Patrick also said the NUT are striking against the increase in working hours they have seen since the coalition Government came to power in 2010.

Primary school teachers now work just under 60 hours per week and secondary teachers teach nearly 56 hours a week, well above the 48 hour European Working Time Directive.

“Those are completely unsustainable working hours,” Patrick said. “That is why 40 per cent of teachers are leaving the profession within five years of completing their training.”

Leeds City Council’s list of school closures is at this link

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