Teachers hit Westminster ahead of nationwide strike

By Phoebe Cooke

Hundreds of green-clad teachers took to the streets of Westminster last night to show their support for nationwide strikes set to begin this Thursday.

The event, organised by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), saw crowds gather by Westminster Cathedral Piazza and proceed to the Emmanuel Centre opposite the Home Office, described by one teacher as "Theresa May's front lawn".

At the rally, which took place within the centre, speakers included NUT general secretary Christine Blower, headteacher Kenny Frederick and journalist Owen Jones.

"We know what a good education looks like and it is not made in Michael Gove's image," Blower told demonstrators.

"We want all children to go to comprehensive, inclusive state schools.

"We know that teachers who are overworked and constantly worried about league tables will not do the very best job that they can."

Statistical analyst and mother Helena Hamilton explained why she and her daughter were attending the demonstration.

"I've worked in further education for 20 years, and I think Gove's got it completely wrong," she said.

"I'm here particularly because of what he's trying to do with GCSEs, because it doesn't work – it only works for a small percentage of children.

“There's different learning styles and there's different ways of teaching, and there are different ways of examining children."

The nationwide rolling strikes have attracted strong vocal opposition from the government. They begin on Thursday in Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and Preston, and will continue through to the autumn over other parts of the country.

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