The Association of School and College Leaders has today launched the first national ballot on industrial action in our 150-year history.
Ballot papers have today been posted to eligible members in England. The ballot paper contains the terms of ASCL’s trade dispute with Education Secretary Gillian Keegan over the linked issues of pay, conditions, inadequacy of school funding and teacher shortages and it asks one question: “Are you prepared to take part in industrial action consisting of a strike?”
The ballot closes at 12 noon on 31 July. In the event of a ‘yes’ vote, strike action is expected to take place on dates to be announced within the period 1 September 2023 to late January 2024. We intend to coordinate any action with the other education unions, NAHT, NEU and NASUWT.
ASCL General Secretary Geoff Barton said: “This is not a situation we ever envisaged being in, and the action being taken today is done with a heavy heart. But the government’s failure to address the growing crisis in education and their refusal to reopen formal negotiations and agree a meaningful settlement has left us with no other option. We will not stand idly by while inadequate funding, teacher shortages and other challenges continue to disrupt learning and impact negatively on school leaders, staff and pupils. That is why we are asking all eligible members to make their voices heard and #VoteForEducation.”