School leaders in Wales will end their long-running ‘Action Short of Strike’ at midnight on Friday (November 17), after NAHT members accepted a new workload agreement alongside an improved pay offer and additional funding.
NAHT members in Wales have been in dispute with the 22 local authority employers since February, commencing ‘Action Short of Strike’ on February 1 this year.
Following a ballot of members at half term, 74% agreed to accept the improved offer and workload agreement.
NAHT Cymru’s national secretary, Laura Doel, said: “The action taken by school leaders this year has deliberately protected the delivery of education, but exposed a host of challenges facing schools that had for too long gone unnoticed.
“Teachers’ and leaders’ pay has been eroded by a decade of below inflation pay awards.
“Lack of funding put schools in an impossible position where they were having to make redundancies to balance the books.
“School leadership had become a cottage industry of evidence gathering, data collection, report writing and form-filling, which detracted from their core purpose of leading teaching and learning in our schools.
“Our action provided the evidence base on which to mount an unquestionable campaign to increase pay and bring in additional funding.
“The workload agreement, predicated on reducing bureaucracy and focusing attention on what makes a real difference to the lives of children and young people, is down to our action.
“An improved pay offer and some additional funding, alongside a review of the education consortia, coupled with the workload agreement, has satisfied the asks of the profession and we look forward to bringing the ambitions of the agreement to fruition.
“There are still a great many challenges facing schools across Wales, as budget cuts and a recruitment and retention crisis continue to plague delivery.
“But our members have demonstrated through their actions that they will stop at nothing to ensure their learners get the very best education and they will not hesitate to take further action if it is warranted in the future.”
Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary, said: “Industrial action should never have been needed to achieve a settlement that is acceptable to our members and which benefits children and young people in Wales too.
“The additional funding secured through this action is a lifeline for schools, and the new workload agreement vital for freeing teachers and leaders up to concentrate on what really matters: the delivery of a first-class education for all.”
NAHT represents more than 35,000 school leaders in early years, primary, secondary and special schools, making it the largest association for school leaders in the UK.