Bucks teachers say they are striking to protect the next generation following in their footsteps

Teachers told The Bucks Herald that this week's strike was 12 years in the making
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Dozens of teachers participated in a mass day of strike action by rallying in the Aylesbury Vale town of Buckingham.

Outside The Old Gaol Museum over 20 teachers held placards demanding better support at a coordinated rally.

It was part of national industrial action on Wednesday (1 February) during which more than 100,000 teachers in England and Wales went on strike.

Protestors in BuckinghamProtestors in Buckingham
Protestors in Buckingham

Workers in other public sectors also walked out on their jobs meaning that in excess of 500,000 union members participated.

Teachers at the rally in Buckingham told The Bucks Herald they were not striking for themselves, but to protect future generations of teachers.

The spoke about how rising living costs, a lack of affordable housing and relatively low salaries made it harder then ever for people starting out in the industry.

Like many people who have demonstrated in the past 12 months, pay offers which do not match the high increase in national inflation was also a key concern.

Teachers say they are protesting for future generationsTeachers say they are protesting for future generations
Teachers say they are protesting for future generations

Funding issues were cited too, with teachers fearing subjects may be cut from the curriculum in Bucks if more staff cannot be hired and retained.

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The Buckinghamshire representative for the National Education Union told The Bucks Herald: “Heads are talking about further cuts next year. We can't get the staff, and there are some staff that can't go to the loo, because they can't be covered."

David Henry, who currently teachers at Buckingham’s Royal Latin School and has over 30 years’ experience, highlighted how the last Government pay rise of five per cent for most teachers, further hit school resources.

Money was taken from schools’ budgets to allocate wage increases meaning other areas of these institutions suffered.

Rachel, another teacher working in Buckingham, and David have children who have followed them into the profession.

Both were keen to point out their sons’ love of teaching, while acknowledging they face much steeper challenges trying to become financially stable in the long run.

The NEU rep added: “The key is we are not striking for our individual schools. We are striking for the future generation of children.

"No one wants to go on strike. We realise this is disruptive and painful. But we have been here thinking about this now since 2010.”