Feb 1st, 2023
Britain’s parents share their ‘full support’ as teachers strike for the future of education
By Veronica Hawking
No parent relishes the thought of lost school days. But we know that teachers on the picket line are fighting for our children’s futures – and we’re behind them all the way
Today has been a difficult day for parents and teachers alike, as our educators are forced to leave their classrooms by a Government refusing to address the crisis in our schools.
As a working parent, a strike day is no easy prospect and like many, today my hands were full trying to do two jobs at once: by 10am my children had already made guest appearances in two 38 Degrees team meetings on Zoom, resulting in my colleagues now knowing far more about Pokemon than they may have wished!
But despite the challenges the strike brings, I’m backing my children’s teachers: and I’m not alone. So far, more than 38,000 people have signed our open letter of support for teachers, urging the Government to get around the table and give educators the deal they deserve, so they can go back to doing what they do best.
We also invited people to share a personal message to teachers, and we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and appreciation we got back.
The messages we received show that, as parents, we see how hard teachers work, day in, day out, to give our children the best possible start in life.
We know that teachers across the country want to be in the classroom, not on the picket lines. But we also know that they’ve been left in an impossible position by the Government. With people leaving the profession in droves, classrooms crumbling, and schools struggling to recruit qualified staff, teachers have been left with no choice but to take a stand, for themselves and for their pupils.
The disruption to our children’s education over the past few years has been worrying and exhausting – no parent relishes the thought of more missed days. But unless the Government gets around the table to give teachers the pay deal they deserve, children across the country won’t be getting the education that they deserve.
Here are just a few of the thousands of heartfelt messages we received from parents, grandparents and carers across the country:
- Mary Davidson, Berwick: “I know that striking is the last thing that you want to do, but this Government has left you no other option. I shall be looking after my granddaughter on strike days, so her parents can work. I support your action despite the burden on me.”
- Sarah Armitage, Northampton: “You have my full support, as a parent. I don’t think a lot of people realise how many hours teachers work – during evenings, weekends and holidays. You deal with challenging behaviour and relentless marking and reporting. You deserve to be paid fairly.”
- Helen Buchanan, Kenilworth, Warwickshire: “As a grandparent I see the size of classes, and how much fund raising our primary has to do to cover the costs of the simplest of things, never mind the wages for teachers. We need dedicated teachers who provide our children with not just a good education, but a stable and safe environment for them to grow and learn.”
- Michael O’Neil, Newcastle: “As a father of six children under the age of 11, I wholeheartedly support you for fighting for better conditions, to enable you to support parents to give their children a better start in life.”
- Sophia Stravoravdis, Woking: “As a parent, I support teachers striking to bring their pay and conditions up to 2023 standards, and to encourage graduates into teaching jobs. It’s a challenging and socially important job, a teacher is a frontline worker who should be afforded the security the role deserves. Thanks for teaching our kids and well done for sticking up for yourselves!”
- Gemma Hughes, Worsley and Eccles South, Manchester: “Thank you for all your hard work throughout the year. Working parents support you 100%!”
- Sarah Abdulla, Guildford, Surrey: “All caring parents are behind you.”
We’ve shared these and thousands more messages with teacher’s union the NEU, and will continue to do so until the Government gets round the table to fix the crisis in our education system.
We hope they will offer a morale boost to teachers and show them that the British public doesn’t blame them for their decision – we blame the Government for putting them in this position.
You can add your name to the open letter and share your own message of support here.