Thursday, 30 June 2011

Why the teachers' strike is pointless

I'm afraid to say that I think the teachers' strike is rather pointless and ineffectual. I'm not going to make a judgement on whether they're right to strike or not because I don't actually have an opinion either way.

However, consider the date they're striking on. It's nearly the end of term. Children have already sat their exams. All the strike does is ensure schools stay closed at a time of year when no teaching takes place anyway and when most schools replace classes with end of year festivities. So the actual impact of the strikes on childrens' education is almost imperceptible.

Similarly, the fact that the summer holidays are approaching severely limits the potential for future strike action. After all, if teachers go on strike during the holiday, it's going to have very little affect on the education system.

So the only time a strike becomes viable again is in September in the new academic year. This might actually be the reason why the government published its pension proposals when it did - the time teachers have to strike is limited and then there are going to be three months when striking is pointless. And, if teachers do strike again in September then the government will probably be hoping that people will have forgotten about the reason for the strike over the past three months and instead public sympathy will be against the people disrupting the start of the new school year.

I don't pretend to know what action, if any, the teachers should take over the pension changes - all I think is that striking is not the course of action they need to take.

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