Hundreds of teachers join in a strike rally in the region

NUT protest rally in Durham City.
NUT protest rally in Durham City.

Hundreds of teachers from across the region joined a strike rally in Durham City this morning.

Teachers from the NUT marched from Millennium Place to Durham Market Place for a rally on the day of national strike action.

NUT protest rally in Durham City.

NUT protest rally in Durham City.

Stephanie Green, Sunderland branch secretary for the NUT, was among the hundreds of teachers from across the whole of the North East who joined the event.

She said: "It was an excellent turnout, was very well supported by teachers and the public.

"There was a lot of people saying their were behind the campaign."

The NUT called the strike action to demonstrate their concerns about the Government’s plans to reduce funding for education, and its consequences for children’s learning and for teachers’ terms and conditions.

NUT protest rally in Durham City.

NUT protest rally in Durham City.

Mike McDonald, Northern Regional Secretary of the union, said: "This is about the funding cuts to education and the impact they are having on the education of children.

"We had a lot of support at the rally, I personally did not hear any negative comments for parents and in fact, we had messages of support from a number of parent groups."

At the rally, Mr McDonald, said: "Schools are facing a very difficult budget because George Osborne has frozen the money he gives schools, while increasing the money he takes from them."

He said as a result schools are seeing increased class sizes, cuts to subjects, less individual attention for children and worsening of terms and conditions for teachers.

NUT protest rally at Durham City.

NUT protest rally at Durham City.

He said: "The referendum result makes this all the more important. If inflation now rises, then George Osborne's funding freeze will damage education even more.

"It is also vital for the Government to acknowledge that they bear the responsibility for increasing class sizes. They are not due to migrants, but due to a lack of funding and of

school place planning. We are therefore calling on Nicky Morgan and George Osborne to commit to investing in education, not cutting it."

NUT members voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action and more than 6,000 members have joined the union since last Thursday.

Mr McDonald said: "Without more money and the protection of national pay and conditions, things will get worse much faster for teachers and children."