Nottingham Teachers Strike Sees Thousands Of Pupils Missing Lessons

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The April strikes are the second wave to hit Nottingham schools, after teachers walked out in November over pensions
The April strikes are the second wave to hit Nottingham schools, after teachers walked out in November over pensions

Thousands of children are missing lessons as teachers in Nottingham stage a walkout over proposed changes to school term dates.

Nottingham City Council are planning to introduce a five-term academic year with a shorter summer break in order to boost attainment. But members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) have downed tools in protest at the plans which they say will be disruptive to pupils.

Around 4,400 children are set to miss a day of school as the strike forced 12 schools to fully close and 33 to partially close, local paper the Nottingham Post estimated.

Assistant secretary of Nottingham's NUT John Illingworth said the union did not take the action "lightly".

"The council hasn't backed down on this issue so we have to get the message across because this move will have a negative impact on children."

The council has argued the new system, which would include fortnight breaks in May and October would help pace pupils' education and ease childcare issues during the summer.

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Members of other teaching unions such as the NASUWAT and Association of Teachers and Leaders are not striking.

The council released a statement saying the "bold step" was proposed to ensure the school year structure supports pupils' learning and boosts chances of achieving their full potential.

"Many children simply fall out of the habit of learning over the long summer break so by shortening it to just over four weeks, there is a greater chance that pupils will remember their lessons and return to school in the autumn ready to learn."

The council added it hoped the move would improve attendance.