Teachers’ Strike: Parental Perspectives – A Battle for our Children’s Future

A rallying cry echoes across England and Wales as over 100,000 teachers stand united in a historic strike, organized by the UK’s largest education union. While the education secretary claims that most schools will remain open, the National Education Union predicts otherwise with 85% of schools set to be affected and up to a quarter of schools in London closed.

Three parents speak out on the impact the strike is having on their families and their views on the action.

Michael Watts, a 39-year-old software engineer in London, declared his full support for the teachers, expressing his concern that the people responsible for the wellbeing and development of our children are not being paid what they deserve. As a former primary teacher himself, he knows the long hours and hard work that go into the job, and the pay that has been gradually eroded over time. Today, he and his three-year-old daughter joined the teachers on the picket line, bringing homemade biscuits and showing their support.

Steve, a 45-year-old contracts manager in Merseyside, had a different view, his patience running thin with the teachers. With the burden of home-schooling still fresh in his mind from the Covid-19 pandemic, he is frustrated that the teachers are now on strike for four days and closing the schools. He questions whether the teachers have forgotten the sacrifices made by parents and if they are truly putting the children first.

Finally, a mother who wishes to remain anonymous, fully supports the teachers, acknowledging the lack of attractive pay and benefits in the profession, which has led to its devaluation. However, she admits that her support is easier to give as her husband has ample holiday time and they both work mainly from home. She has sympathy for those parents who may feel differently, with personal hits such as missing work and losing a day’s pay.

The strike serves as a reminder of the importance of valuing and supporting our teachers, who shape the future of our children and our society.

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