SCHOOLS across Northwich, Winsford and Middlewich could be affected by a National Union of Teacher’s strike this Wednesday, March 26.

Members of the union are staging a walkout citing ‘excessive workload and bureaucracy, performance related pay and in defence of a national pay scale system, and unfair pension changes’.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT said: “Teachers deeply regret the disruption caused by this strike action to parents and teachers.

“The Government’s refusal, however, to engage to resolve the dispute means that we have no alternative other than to demonstrate the seriousness of our concerns.

“Teachers’ levels of workload are intolerable –the Government’s own survey, published last month, shows that primary school teachers work nearly 60 hours a week and secondary school teachers work nearly 56 hours a week.

“Two in five teachers are leaving the profession in the first five years of teaching, as are many others. This is bad for children and bad for education.”

Ms Blower said replacing the national pay framework with performance related pay meant head teachers and governors have to worry about developing a pay system instead of focussing on teaching and learning.

She added that performance related pay was ‘unnecessary’ and will build ‘unfairness and additional bureaucracy’.

On pensions she said: “Teachers do not believe that they can work to the age of 68 or even later for a full pension – and they don’t believe it is educationally desirable either.

“The NUT recognises that other workers are having their pensions squeezed. We believe that this is wrong too – everyone should be entitled to a decent standard of living in retirement.”