Education Secretary to meet union leaders in bid to avert teachers’ strike

Last-ditch talks will be held on Monday in a bid to resolve a teachers’ pay dispute which threatens disruption to schools across the country.

Members of the National Education Union (NEU) in England and Wales will walk out on Wednesday, with more stoppages planned in the coming weeks.

Union leaders will meet Education Secretary Gillian Keegan after previous talks failed to break the deadlock.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: “This is the last chance to avoid the strike on Wednesday.

“However, on Friday the Department for Education failed to meet the deadline to its evidence to the teachers’ pay review body.

“We can only assume this is because they know that their recommended increase for teachers’ pay will not be acceptable to our members and will contradict the evidence they must have put in about teacher recruitment and retention difficulties.

“That said, we hope the Secretary of State will bring forward concrete proposals to end this dispute and avert the strike action.”

A source close to the Education Secretary said she will use the meeting to reiterate her call from the weekend for teachers to inform schools if they plan to strike.

The source also said the Government will “continue to be open and collaborative in meetings with the unions”.