Croydon schools to be hit by strikes
More than 1,000 teachers are expected to strike in protest over pension reform tomorrow.
At least 45 schools will close or partially open on Wednesday March 28 in the latest chapter of clashes between National Union of Teachers and the government over changes to the pension scheme.
It follows on from strike action in June 2011 and November 2011 which caused disruption at schools across the borough.
Dave Harvey, Croydon NUT secretary said: “We have been encouraged by the response. We are the only teaching union taking strike action.
"We know of at least 45 schools that will be affected but many have not updated their status so we are expecting more will be forced to close.”
The union is battling government proposals to alter pension payments, and retirement ages for teachers.
The government is proposing teachers increase the contributions they make to state pensions, and the retirement age is raised to 68, while the scheme would move to an average salay payment instead of an end salary figure.
Mr Harvey said: “When we first balloted in May last year this was a proposal – now the change is in April and when teachers receive their pay check it will be less than their one in March, the first time teachers have had a pay cut since the Great depression in the 1930s.”
The strike is London-wide and Mr Harvey indicated the union would look to have smaller strikes regularly across the country in renewed efforts to bring the government back to the negotiating table.
Members from Croydon will travel to London to march on Westminster while others plan to picket schools including Virgo Fidelis in Upper Norwood.
A Department for Education spokesman said: “Strikes benefit no one.
"Most parents are going to be scratching their heads that schools are closed, when we’re guaranteeing teachers a far better pension than the vast majority of people in the country will ever get.
"We’ve been in serious talks for months with unions to reach a final settlement.
"These discussions are now closed and this strike, ordered by the NUT’s leaders, will not get its ordinary members any further forward.
"Reforms to public sector pensions are essential - the status quo is not an option.
"The cost to the taxpayer of teacher pensions is already forecast to double from £5billion in 2006 to £10billion in 2016 and will carry on rising rapidly as life expectancy continues to rocket."
Schools to have announced they will be affected include:
St Giles School.
Selsdon Primary and Nursery School.
Elmwood Primary School.
Ecclesbourne Primary School.
Whitehorse Manor School.
St Joseph’s College.
St Marks CoE.
The Aerodrome School.
Parish Church CoE Primary School.
South Norwood Primary School.
The Priory School.
St Chad’s Primary School.
Davidson Primary School.
Kensington Avenue Primary School.
St Cypress Greek Orthodox School.
Beulah Junior School.
Westwood Girls College.
All Saints Infants School.
Rowdown Primary School.
Forestdale Primary School.
John Ruskin College.
Red Gates School.
The Quest Academy.
The Moving On Pupil Referral Unit, Lower Coombe Road.
Edenham High School.
To check the status of your child's school visit the Opencheck website - map.lgfl.org.uk/opencheck/