A consultative ballot on industrial action conducted by the Association of School and College Leaders in England has shown a majority in favour of proceeding to a formal ballot.
In the consultative ballot, 54% of eligible members voted in total, with 69% of these in favour of moving to a formal ballot on strike action, and 74% in favour of moving to a formal ballot on action short of a strike.
ASCL UK Executive, which is made up of senior elected members, has held an initial meeting to discuss the results and will meet again in due course to decide on the next steps.
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“The results of this ballot show the strength of feeling which exists among school leaders over the desperately difficult situation they are facing in recruiting and retaining staff, and operating their schools without the adequate funding to do so.
“This has been caused by the erosion of school leader and teacher pay which has fallen by a fifth in real terms since 2010, and a decade of underfunding of education. The final straw was this year’s pay award which was significantly below inflation and for which there was no additional government funding for schools to be able to afford the cost of the award.
“We urge the government to avoid an escalation of this dispute, and do the right thing by schools and children, by addressing recruitment, retention and funding as a matter of urgency”
The consultative ballot ran from 18 November to 16 December.