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Teachers across Devon take strike action
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- Union members walk out over pensions and conditions
- Some schools forced to close, many remain open
EDUCATION Secretary Michael Gove has praised teachers, but slammed the unions for their part in the strike.
Mr Grove says the current generation of teachers is "the best ever", but he says the unions are "standing in the way of progress".
He added: "Please don't put your ideology before our chdilren's interests."
BILL Corbett, of the NASUWT in neighbouring Somerset, said the strike was necessary because of poor working conditions for teachers, job losses, unqualified teachers being employed, increased bureaucracy and changes to pay and pensions.
Mr Corbett added: "Striking is a last resort - teachers want to resolve the dispute, but the Secretary of State (Michael Gove) refuses to engage in genuine dialogue."
THE strike has been called by the NUT and NASUWT unions.
Andy Woolley, South-West regional secretary for the NUT, said: "We regreat any disruption to parents and pupils, but we believe the effects of the current policies being ideologically driven by Michael Gove (Education Secretary) are doing considerable harm to the profession, to schools' ability to recruit and retain teachers and to the education service in general.
"Strike action is never a step that teachers take lightly and we're very aware and concerned about the inconvenience it causes parents.
"Changes to pay, pensions and workload will make teaching a far less attractive profession, which isn't in the long-term interests of teachers and chdlren."
HUNDREDS of children have the day off school in Devon today (Thursday, October 17) due to a teachers' strike.
A handful of schools are totally closed and others are partially open, but most are functioning as normal.
Some parents have been forced to get childcare or take the day off work to look after their children.
The industrial action across Devon and the South-West was called by the NUT and NASUWT unions as part of a rolling nationwide protest at the Government.
Head teachers at individual schools had to decided whether they had enough staff to open today, although they received advice from Devon County Council, the local education authority.
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