Members of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, will hold the first of six days of strike action starting tomorrow (13 January) at Merrill Academy in Derby.

The action has been called as a result of unacceptable working practices which are placing unnecessary burdens on teachers and undermining their professionalism.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“The strike action is completely avoidable.

“The NASUWT has made every effort to secure an agreed way forward through genuine negotiation, but teachers’ have been faced with a dogged refusal to address their concerns.

“Like teachers across the country the teachers at Merill are all dedicated and committed members of staff, who have no wish to cause disruption to pupils or to parents, but in the face of the employer’s intransigence have been left with no choice but to protest in this way.

“All that is needed to avoid this strike action is a commitment to genuine discussions to seek to reach agreement on how teachers’ concerns can be addressed.

“The NASUWT stands ready to withdraw the strikes.”

Keith Muncey, NASUWT National Executive Member for Derby, said:

“Teachers have no wish to disrupt pupils’ education, but as their employer has so far been unable to meet their reasonable demands they have been left with no choice but to take this strike action.

“As professionals they are entitled to have their concerns addressed.

“That is all it will take to avoid strike action.”


The entitlement of children to a high-quality education is at risk because of the widening pay gap between teaching and other professions, according to research commissioned by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union.

The report by Incomes Data Services (IDS) on teacher salaries at different career points show that since 2010 the pay gap between teaching and other professions has widened.

The analysis by IDS shows that the 2013 average starting salary for graduates among major recruiters was nearly 20% higher than the national M1 starting point for a qualified teacher.

The lead over teachers in terms of average salary after three years is 44%. After five years the graduate lead on average salaries is 73%.

The disturbing figures, which come on top of changes by the Coalition Government to pay progression, mean teaching is becoming a less attractive profession and is compounding the recruitment and retention crisis among the workforce.

Even fewer graduates of shortage STEM subjects such as maths, chemistry and physics are likely to be recruited to teach those subjects as a result of the pay gap.

Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary said: “Teaching has moved from being the number one choice for graduates in 2010 to one now where graduates are increasingly looking to other higher paid professions.

“There is already a recruitment and retention crisis in the Education Service. The stark differences in graduate pay highlighted in our research will unfortunately mean this crisis will worsen.

“Children and young people are entitled to be taught by qualified teachers who are recognised and rewarded as highly-skilled professionals.

“The widening pay gap between teaching and other graduate professions is putting children’s entitlement to a high-quality education at risk.”