Snapshot survey suggests majority of schools affected by teacher strike

A snapshot survey conducted by the Association of School and College Leaders suggests the majority of schools have been affected by today’s strike by teachers in the National Education Union.
Of 948 headteachers and principals in England and Wales, mostly in secondary schools, 97% (920) reported that teachers were on strike. In 35% (330) more than half of teachers took part in the industrial action.
Of the 920 schools and sixth-form colleges where teachers were on strike:
  • 11% (97) were fully open with all students onsite
  • 80% (738) were partially open with some students onsite
  • 9% (85) were completely shut with no students on site.
Those that were partially open or completely shut took a range of measures to support students, depending on how the circumstances of the strike affected their setting.
Of these 823 respondents:
  • 86% (709) provided work for students to do at home
  • 81% (668) had onsite provision for vulnerable students
  • 35% (284) made phone calls to vulnerable students who were not onsite
  • 38% (315) had onsite provision for children of critical workers
  • 60% (496) had onsite provision for exam year groups
  • 17% (136) had onsite provision for students eligible for free school meals, with others providing measures such as packed lunches and vouchers.
We also asked how onsite provision was being put on in settings which were partially or fully open. Of the 833 respondents answering this question:
  • 41% (344) combined classes
  • 48% (399) used support staff
  • 29% (238) used supply staff
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“The overwhelming feeling among school and college leaders and teachers today will be one of sadness that we have reached a point at which strike action has been taken as a last resort against a government that will not listen.
“This has clearly been a difficult day for everyone concerned, but the stark truth is that the erosion of teacher pay and conditions over the past decade, and resulting teacher shortages, mean every day in education is a difficult one.
“We implore the government to avert further industrial action by improving pay and conditions and addressing the teacher recruitment and retention crisis.”

The survey was conducted between 10am and 1pm today by emailing a survey link to 3,334 headteachers and principals, with 948 responses received – a response rate of 28%. The majority of responses were from mainstream secondary schools (85%), with the remainder from a mix of primary, alternative provision, special schools and sixth-form colleges. Of the respondents, 4% (39) were from schools in Wales.