Teachers remain on collision course with the Government.

The planned one-day strike looks set to go ahead on Tuesday October 1, as neither side looks like backing down.

The NUT and NASUWT expect “overwhelming support” for the day of action from their 3,000 members in Kirklees.

The north west teachers’ strike on June 27 resulted in the vast majority of schools in Lancashire and Greater Manchester being closed or partially closed. Union leaders are expecting a similar response in Kirklees.

They claim that the strike is a “last resort” in their efforts to bring education secretary Michael Gove to the negotiating table.

The NUT and NASUWT, which represent around 90% of all teachers, are seeking discussions on a number of changes in education, including performance-related pay, teachers’ pensions and working conditions.

NUT joint secretary Howard Roberts said: “There is still chance for Michael Gove to say we will have discussions. We didn’t idly call our members out; we want to sit down and talk about out concerns.

“But all we have had from him is smart comments and rudeness about teachers and their leaders. If Michael Gove was subject to performance-related pay, he would have to take a pay cut.

“The one-day strike action is the only way left open to us to get him to talk, hopefully it will show our members’ anger. We are very concerned about what is going on.”

Whether schools will remain open or closed on October 1 will be the decision of individual headteachers.

A second day of strike action is pencilled in for October 17 in other regions.

The Kirklees strike is part of rolling programme of one-day strikes around the country. If no discussions have taken place, a one-day national strike is scheduled for before Christmas.

Speaking on his tour of Mirfield’s Castle Hall Academy last week, Education Secretary Michael Gove said: “The unions shouldn’t think that by going on strike they are going to change a single thing about government policy. The only way we can resolve this strike is if they call it off and we get back to having civilised conversations.”

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, visits Castle Hall Academy, Mirfield.
Michael Gove (left) chats with school principals, from left, Andy Pugh (Castle Hall), John McNally (Shelley College) and Lorraine Barker (Mirfield Free Grammar)
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, visits Castle Hall Academy, Mirfield. Michael Gove (left) chats with school principals, from left, Andy Pugh (Castle Hall), John McNally (Shelley College) and Lorraine Barker (Mirfield Free Grammar)
 

He said that to blame him for the strike was “nonsensical”. “We are ready to talk to the unions any time, any place, anywhere,” he added.

“We are looking forward to them telling us when they want to come in and on what basis they want to talk. What we can’t do is allow the prospect of industrial action to get in the way of making the changes we need to make to improve schools.”