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Talks between teachers’ unions and the government will begin on Friday as the National Education Union confirms no further strike dates in England will be announced for two weeks.

The talks are expected to continue over the weekend.

Thursday was the last of a series of strike dates announced across England.

In a joint statement with the teachers’ unions, the Department for Education said the talks will focus on teacher pay, conditions and workload reduction.

“In order for talks to begin and, we hope, reach a successful conclusion, the NEU has confirmed it will create a period of calm for two weeks during which time they have said no further strike dates will be announced,” the statement said.

Four teachers’ unions – the Association of School and College Leaders, National Association of Head Teachers, NASUWT and the NEU – will all be involved in the talks with the Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan.

More than half of schools in England closed or restricted attendance on 15 and 16 March.

Data released by the Department for Education showed 47% of all schools in England were open but restricting attendance, and 6% were fully closed on both strike days this week.

The National Education Union, which represents 300,000 teachers are asking for an above inflation pay increase – that does not come from existing budgets in schools.

It says it is about investing in this generation of children who have been badly affected by Covid.

The education secretary Gillian Keegan says she has been extremely disappointed by the strike action.

Most state school teachers in England had a 5% rise in 2022.

Strike action in Scotland and Wales has already been paused.

In Wales, the NEU is consulting members on a increased pay offer of 8% for this year as well as 5% for next year.

And in Scotland, two unions have accepted an increased pay offer of 7% for this year, another 5% rise in April and then 2% next January. One union is still consulting members.

The NEU ballot lasts until mid-July which means they can announce new strikes dates until then.

In England, no new strike dates have been scheduled, but the NEU ballot lasts until mid-July which means they can announce new strikes dates until then.


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Source: BBC

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