TEACHERS planning to go on strike later this term say they hope to avoid disrupting students sitting their GCSEs.

The National Union of Teachers voted at their conference last week to walk out for a day over pay and workloads, probably in the week commencing June 23.

They say they will call off the day of action if Education Secretary Michael Gove sits down to talk with them over issues they feel are damaging the teaching profession Somerset NUT’s Robin Head said: “Somerset is losing quality teachers because of the Government’s policies – they’re handing in their resignations and education is in crisis.

“We’re trying to avoid striking during GCSEs – most of the exams will be over by the week of action, although a handful could still be on.”

A Department of Education spokeswoman said Ministers have frequently met NUT representatives and a strike will disrupt parents, hold back children’s education and damage the teaching profession.

She added: “Teaching has never been more attractive, more popular or more rewarding – we trust the professionalism of our head teachers to monitor their staff’s workload and address any issues.”