Teachers from across East Devon joined a mass protest in London on Wednesday, March 15 as part of their ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.

Many had staged early-morning picket lines outside their schools before travelling to the capital for the day of industrial action, which also involved junior doctors and tens of thousands of civil service employees.

The National Education Union said around 130 teachers from Devon were at the London march. 

Speaking before the London protest, Mike Gurney from the NEU in Devon said: “We very much regret that this third round of action has proved necessary but, given the Government’s refusal to engage in any meaningful negotiations on the key issues, it has become inevitable."

Sidmouth Herald:

The latest industrial action by teachers continued today (Thursday, March 16) with picket lines outside local schools, including Sidmouth College, Exmouth Community College and Axe Valley Academy.

Sidmouth Herald:

Sidmouth College NEU rep Lisa Whitworth said: “Staff at Sidmouth college care passionately about the future of education and the young people we work with. It is for this reason that we strike, the erosion of the profession cannot continue, teachers are the front line for young people. The government needs to cut the rhetoric and fund schools properly or more teachers will leave the profession”. 

Sidmouth Herald:

The Department for Education had said it would only enter formal talks with the NEU if the union postponed its planned strike action.

In an open letter to parents published just before this week's strikes, the education minister Gillian Keegan said: "The single best thing the NEU could do for both its members and for children and young people would be to sit down and talk about pay.

"I will continue doing everything I can to end the disruption your family is facing as quickly as possible, particularly because I know exams for older pupils are coming up fast."

The union was not prepared to call off the planned industrial action, but after this week the NEU does not have any definite strike days lined up. It's reported that pay negotiations between teachers and the Government could start in earnest as early as next week.