Camden’s teachers rally at pensions strike

Camden’s teachers have been out in force at today’s strikes – and have thanked pupils for supporting them on the picket line.

All but two of the borough’s schools were thought to have closed today, with hundreds of school staff joining the trade union march through the centre of London.

Among them was Gary Doyland, head of geography at Camden School for Girls in Sandall Road, Camden, who has been teaching for 36 years.

He said: “I went on demos in the 1970s and 1980s and this has a really different feel about it.

“This isn’t just anti-government, it is about standing up for ourselves and making the point that we are considerate, careful people who work very hard. Yet here we are being told we don’t pay enough into our pension fund and will have to work another eight years.

“It feels like they aren’t taking any notice of what we offer.

“Everyone is feeling outraged because the government just isn’t listening to us.

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“The government hasn’t looked at the career paths of people and thought about how it can encourage people to support the changes, and take them go forward in a conciliatory manner.

“It is insanity.”

Thanking pupils and parents who have supported the strikers, he added: “A lot of them have shown a great amount of support. Our students are very understanding and have shown a great maturity.”

Grant Penny, an art teacher at Camden School for Girls, said: “Teachers are expected to work until they are 68 and it’s a tough, demanding job with a lot of stresses.

“We need to make a stand and make our point to the government, otherwise it will try and cut more.

“We are here to stand up for ourselves and make ourselves heard.”