On the 26 March Exeter teachers in the NUT went on strike. They also held a modest but colourful noisy march about changes in the teaching profession.
The March started at Northernhay gardens and ended at Sidwell Street Methodist church. There was a long, lively union meeting. In this meeting union representatives talked about all aspects of their professional lives.
Teacher’s main complaints were longer working hours, more form filling, and academies. Some teachers complained of less time in the classroom and having to stay up all night doing extra work. Sarah teacher, told me “You end up being very test driven."
Deputy sectary of DevonTUC Mike told me “We are not making widgets in a factory, they might not do very well in an exam because they bring in baggage from home.” He went on to tell me “All we seem to do is make data these days”. He went to say “(teaching) is not sustainable.
Retired teacher Robert spoke at lengh about teachers plight “My daughter’s a teacher she can barely afford to live because she has to make huge contributions to her students loans ” He went on to talk about free schools he told me “It’s a charter for any kind of nutter to start a school, it’s a charter to exploit children’s minds”
The demonstration attracted other groups, the “Socialist Worker “were there calling for a 24 hour general strike, they had lots of sympathy for the teachers and their strike. The passion and anger in the march was obvious, this was matched by the teachers passion for the job.