Thousands of teachers throughout England and Wales have walked out over pay.Thousands of teachers throughout England and Wales have walked out over pay.
Thousands of teachers throughout England and Wales have walked out over pay.

National teachers' strike: 15 photos as union members and supporters rally in Wakefield

Here’s 15 photos showcasing demonstrations in Wakefield today as union members and supporters backed country-wide industrial action by teachers.

Staff from across the Wakefield district joined a city centre rally this morning, joining tens of thousands in the walk out in a dispute over pay and conditions.

A picket line was formed at the Red Shed, organised by Wakefield’s National Education Union branch, before demonstrators made their way towards the Bull Ring.

A crowd waving placards listened to the experiences of various teachers within the district, with local councillors also speaking up, sharing their anger over the situation.

Coun Stuart Heptinstall, who joined the rally, said it was time that the Government, and people of Wakefield, showed their support to teachers.

“The reason I’m here today it to support local school teachers that have been left behind in the pay structure of this country,” he said.

"They are having to work seven days a week to get a living wage. It can’t be right.

"Teachers are working two hours overtime each day, they’re working Saturdays and Sundays when they’re not at school – it’s time the people in our communities show their support for our teachers in the Wakefield district.”

Labour MP for Hemsworth, Jon Trickett joined the teachers in Wakefield and said: “Wakefield was one of the great centres of the strike of the miners all those years ago.

“Teachers, teaching assistants and all those people who are working in our schools, they care for each other, for the children and for the community they are part of and our teachers deserve to be paid a proper living wage with a proper pay structure.

"Wakefield needs to be at the centre of all the action.

"I will always support working people fighting for a better world, and that’s what teachers do every single day of their lives.”

Teachers across England, who are members of the NEU, have been taking part in the first national strike since 2016 today.

It was the first of seven days of strikes in February and March – after talks with the Government failed to find a resolution in a dispute over pay.

Commenting on the action today, the NEU said: “Today, we put the Education Secretary (Gillian Keegan) on notice. She has until our next strike day for England, February 28, to change her stance.

“NEU members do not want to go on strike again. They want constructive talks that deal directly with the long-standing concerns they experience in their schools and colleges every day.

“However, be in no doubt that our members will do whatever it takes to stand up for education, including further strike action, if Gillian Keegan still fails to step up with concrete and meaningful proposals.”