The first national ballot on industrial action in the 150-year history of the Association of School and College Leaders will run from 19 June to 31 July.
ASCL and its members are in a formal trade dispute with the Secretary of State for Education in England concerning the worsening employment terms and conditions of members as a result of the insufficiency of school funding and the crisis in teacher and leader recruitment and retention caused by pay erosion and unsustainable workload.
The dispute was triggered by the decision of the Secretary of State to implement a teacher and leader pay award significantly below inflation in the academic year 2022/23 and without adequate funding to cover the cost of the pay award.
The ballot will ask eligible members in England whether they are prepared to take part in industrial action consisting of strike action. We expect that any strike action would take place in the autumn term and that it would be coordinated with other education unions.
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “We have exhausted all other avenues in our efforts to secure an improved deal from the government which addresses the recruitment and retention crisis and ensures that schools have sufficient funding to afford pay awards and other costs. However, the government’s answer was an offer which failed to adequately address these issues and was comprehensively rejected by all education unions.
“The government’s neglect of the education system is having a devastating impact on our members, on teachers and other school staff in general, and on the pupils they serve. This cannot go on and, regretfully, we now have no option other than to ballot for industrial action in order to bring the government back to the negotiating table and to secure a meaningful settlement which provides a better deal for education.”