Teachers Strike Across Dorset
6:56am 26th March 2014
(Updated 3:06pm 26th March 2014)
Hundreds of frustrated parents in Dorset have been forced to take the day off work as the majority of Schools close, due to teachers going on strike today (Wednesday 26th March).
Members of the National Union of Teachers have walked out in the long running dispute about teachers' pay and pensions and the growing gap between demand and supply.
The union has been fighting the Education Secretary Michael Gove over reforms for 2 years.
The President of Dorset's NUT and local teacher Matt Lake says they're not trying to hold the government to ransom;
"Only 6% of teachers are actually in favour of coalition policies on education, we really feel the government needs to do better. We're prepared to give ground in some areas, of course we are, and we have done all the way along, we understand the country is facing difficult times and we're not trying to hold the country to ransom ... We just want a fair deal."
Mum's and Dad's at the School gates in Dorchester had mixed views about today's walkout, below are some of their comments;
"I am affected, I am working tomorrow, I do have childcare but I understand why the teachers are doing it. It's not just for pay it's for children's education as well."
"I've gotta take a day off work so I'm a little bit annoyed. I'm not even sure what they're striking over to be honest. I'd rather be at work because I've lost a day's pay."
"I'm out of money and out of pocket. But I suppose they should go on strike if it's something they believe in."
"I have to take the day off work so the strike does affect me. It's awkward because obviously, if you don't go to work you don't get paid, and I need to work."
Bridport Teacher Donna Beddows has joined strike action and told us teachers don't want to go on strike, but they have to take action to protect their futures and the education system;
"I realise it's an inconvenience to parents and children are out of school for the day, however for many teachers we don't take the decision to strike lightly but the reason we have is because we want what's best for the children.
We believe current education policies aren't for the best, lots of policies being brought in aren't best for the children."