A strike ballot is in progress for educators in schools and the Rally was designed to draw attention to the case for a fully funded pay increase. This means that the Government would give schools extra funding to meet the cost of the increase. Without that extra funding cash-strapped schools, if not already in deficit due to increased energy costs and inflation, could go into deficit.
As the major portion of school budgets goes on staffing costs, in order to tackle a deficit schools are likely to try and reduce those staffing costs. Redundancies would hit support staff including teaching assistants and Special Needs support staff who have played an increasingly important role in improving achievement in our schools over the past few decades.
The National Education Union urged members to support strike action in the current ballot:
Over the past decade, teacher pay has suffered a 20% decline in real-terms and support staff pay by 27%. Educators are leaving the profession in their droves.The NEU has provided strong evidence that a fully funded, above-inflation pay increase is needed but this Government has not listened.