Teachers strikes in Birmingham: 400 city schools expected to close or partially close for NEU action

Hundreds of schools in Birmingham are set to close or partially close on Wednesday for the first set of NEU strikes

The National Education Union (NEU) have said they expect around 400 schools in Birmingham to close or partially close for the teachers’ strikes today (Wednesday, 1 February).

There are 508 schools in Birmingham, meaning the overwhelming majority of schools in the city will be affected by the strikes Members of the NEU have voted to strike on February 1, March 1 March 15 and March 16.

The first mass walkout will take place on 1 February, to coincide with the Trades Union Congress’s national “protect the right to strike” day of action, followed by a series of regional strikes later in the month. The union is also holding a rally in Centenary Square today.

A number of schools across the city have already confirmed that they will close on February 1, and a statement from the NEU Birmingham General Secretary David Room, said: “We expect around 400 Birmingham schools to be closed or partially closed on 1st February due to the NEU teacher strike.”

Up to half a million workers are expected to walk out today, including teachers, train drivers and civil servants - the biggest day of industrial action in a decade.

Which Birmingham schools will close on February 1?

A number of schools have confirmed that they will close or partially close on Wedneday for the strikes.

You can see the list of schools which have confirmed they will close so far, here.

Why are teachers going on strike?

More than 23,000 schools across England and Wales are set to be affected. Support staff in Wales are set to go on strike as well.

In England, the NEU is looking for a pay rise of 12% rather than the 5% offered so far by the government for most teachers. The unions say teachers’ pay has fallen by about 24% relative to inflation since 2010.

Some 300,000 teachers and support staff were asked to vote in the NEU ballot – and more than 127,000 teacher members and 16,000 support staff members in England and Wales backed action.

The NAHT school leaders’ union and the NASUWT teachers’ union both failed to achieve the 50% ballot turnout required by law for its members to go out on strike over pay in England.

Schoolchildren walking down a corridor.
Schoolchildren walking down a corridor.
Schoolchildren walking down a corridor.

The joint NEU general secretaries, said: “We have continually raised our concerns with successive education secretaries about teacher and support staff pay, and its funding in schools and colleges, but instead of seeking to resolve the issue they have sat on their hands.

“It is disappointing that the government prefers to talk about yet more draconian anti-strike legislation, rather than work with us to address the causes of strike action.”

The union leaders added that historic real-terms pay cuts for teachers had created an “unsustainable situation” in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, adding that staff were leaving the profession “in droves”.