SCHOOLS in the region were today returning to normality following widespread strike action by teachers which saw thousands of children spend the day at home.
While the classrooms may be returning to normal, the fallout continues with many parents disagreeing with the strike action.
Every secondary school in the region faced some form of disruption as the country’s two biggest teaching unions - the NUT and NASUWT - made their feelings clear.
They feel teachers are not being given a fair deal regarding pay, pensions and current working conditions, and if the unions see no signs of improvement, further action could be in the pipeline.
But support for strike action was hard to come by, with teachers facing a backlash from many parents.
There has also been criticism from politicians, with Conservative MP Chris Skidmore suggesting parents should be allowed to have a say in whether teachers strike.
Kirsty Price, executive member for NASUWT in Staffordshire, demanded that Education Secretary Michael Gove ‘come to the negotiating table’.
She said: “Teachers are overwhelmingly standing up for standards in education and the vast majority of high schools and primaries in Staffordshire either closed or were seriously affected.
“Such drastic action on the part of teachers shows just how concerned we are that Mr Gove will not come to the negotiating table ready for meaningful discussion.”
Ms Price said more than half of teachers were considering leaving their role as a result of working conditions imposed by the coalition Government.
Phillippa Saddington, NUT representative at the William Allitt School, in Newhall, defended the position of unions and teachers, insisting they were acting in the best interests of children.
She said: “Part of the reason teachers for the strike action is because we are worried by this and other things the Government want to impose on our schools.
“It may come as a surprise, but we don’t want to take strike action at all. It disrupts us as well as parents, and we don’t want our students to miss out on a day’s learning, not to mention the fact that we will lose a day’s pay, but the Government continues to refuse to negotiate with us.”