All 347 schools in Oxfordshire are likely to be affected when teachers walk out on strike, says an education union.

Multiple schools could shut as teachers take industrial action in a dispute over pay.

The National Education Union (NEU) voted to go on strike earlier this month, with the first planned day of action on Wednesday (February 1).

While the union could not confirm the total number of those striking it expects all the schools in the county to be affected.

The Department of Education said any closures would be decided by heads at a local level.

The NEU is the largest teaching union in the UK with 486,000 members in England and Wales.

It has around 2,800 teacher members in Oxfordshire, and has served notice of the potential for strike action at all 302 maintained schools.

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Teachers are striking for a fully funded inflationary pay award.

Branch secretary Nick Childs said: "In our ongoing campaign for a fully funded, above inflation pay rise, teacher members of the National Education Union in Oxfordshire have voted overwhelmingly for strike action and the ballot has successfully surpassed the restrictive thresholds set by Government for strike action.

"We are striking as a last resort and regret the disruption caused to the public.

"We have repeatedly called on the Government to negotiate on pay and school funding, but they continually refuse to do so."

He added: "With two in five teachers leaving the profession in the first five years, the impact of real-terms pay cuts since 2010 is unsustainable and causing real damage to our education system across the county.

"Coupled with a 9 per cent cut in education funding since 2010 our members have had enough of the neglect of our children’s education and the teaching profession by this Government.

"Our members have served notice of strike action on February 1, and March 2, 15 and 16 and action will likely affect all 347 schools in the county."

Chris Price, Headteacher at Cherwell School, has contacted parents.

In a letter seen by the Oxford Mail, he wrote: "At this stage, we understand that a significant number of colleagues will be taking industrial action."

He said if the strike goes ahead he expects the school site to be closed to all year groups except a small number of the most vulnerable and SEN students across all year groups.

Students who are working towards public examinations this summer and all students required to stay at home will have home learning arrangements in place.

Mr Price concludes: "I apologise for the need to make changes to the school day and for any inconvenience this causes you.

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"As ever, thank you for your continued support as we do our best to navigate a challenging situation." 

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Strike action is highly damaging to children’s education, particularly following the disruption that children have experienced over the past two years.  

“As part of our ongoing support to school leaders to do everything they can to keep as many children in school as possible we have requested information from schools to help inform this work.”

The department also said this year around 40 per cent of classroom teachers will receive pay rises through progression or promotion of up to 15.9 per cent, and those at the top are earning at least £43,685, which they claim is around a third of all classroom teachers.


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This story was written by Miranda Norris, she joined the team in 2021 and covers news across Oxfordshire as well as news from Witney.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Or find her on Twitter: @Mirandajnorris

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