Shropshire Star

Star comment: Deal must be struck quickly over teachers' pay

Parents will react with dismay as a union provides a less-than-veiled threat to disrupt exams this summer.


After years of terrible disruption caused by Covid, now teachers are threatening to hijack GCSE and A-levels as part of a pay dispute.

Nobody would deny teachers a decent deal – we are all aware of spiralling grocery inflation, energy inflation, mortgage and rent payments and the downward trend for wages.

However, teachers should also be careful how far they push. As they prepare for an extended Easter break that most in the private sector can only dream of, they are turning down a £1,000 cash payment, a rise of 4.3 per cent and a reduction in their workload of five hours a week. That offer may not be perfect, but it is better than millions of those whose children they teach can hope of.

They should also reflect on the devastating impact that Covid had on the educational opportunities of youngsters who are presently at school. Many lost out on learning and some will find it difficult to ever, truly catch up. The stresses placed upon the current generation of schoolchildren have already been acute, with mess-ups over exams, lost learning and worse.

The National Education Union is about to get a new leader who will want to stamp their authority on the union. That is unlikely to mean seeking compromise any time soon. It could be a long, turbulent summer and it is only our children who will suffer.

Both sides must get around the negotiating table and hammer out a deal. It’s happened in other parts of the public sector and neither side have any excuse for a protracted dispute. A deal must be reached quickly.


Feeling insignificant? The fact is we all are. We are but dots in the great cosmos.

A cosmic explosion two billion light years from Earth blinded space instruments and may be the brightest ever seen.

The fact scientists can record such an event should leave us in awe. And it also puts into perspective just how delicate our world is.

Earth is a mere speck of dust within the vast expanse of space and that only emphasises again just how delicate our planet is.

We have one shot to look after it and protect it for the next generation.

We are fools if we take Earth’s ecosystem for granted and must take heed of the many warnings from scientists about the way the planet is overheating. Civilisations have crumbled and fallen before, we must make sure that we take steps to look after our home and hand it on to the next custodians of it.