This week will see three further days of strike action by National Education Union teacher members at Howell’s School in Llandaff -

  • Tuesday, 1 March
  • Wednesday, 2 March
  • Thursday, 3 March

All 23 of the Girls’ Day School Trust’s independent schools will be on strike across England and Wales on these dates. This follows previous strike days, as well as a Westminster rally on 23 February.

The employer has been pursuing a plan to remove teaching staff from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS), which was approved at a meeting of trustees on Monday 21 February. The NEU met with the employer on Wednesday, where our representatives made a pragmatic and reasonable proposal to the Trust to settle the dispute. On Friday, the Trust came back with a different proposal entirely which allowed teachers to remain on the TPS but with significant conditions attached, and insufficient detail on the two-tier system that would then be created. Strike action will therefore continue this week.

Commenting on the strike action this week, David Evans, Wales Secretary for the National Education Union Cymru, said:

“We welcome moves by the Girls’ Day School Trust to find a solution to the current dispute, but successive proposals have been inadequate or incomplete. We do not yet know the full detail of their latest plan, which appears to have unknown strings attached and was delivered too late for proper consideration. Finding a quicker resolution is very much in the gift of the employer, whereas the NEU will continue with the overwhelming mandate of its members to keep up the pressure. 

“First impressions are that the GDST’s latest proposal will create an unwelcome two-tier system for our members, worsening conditions over time including a real-terms pay cut. It is in the Trust’s interests to continue talks with the recognised union, but we are not yet able to properly assess their proposal and therefore strikes will go ahead this week.”

Editor’s Note:

The formal postal ballot ran from 10 to 26 January 2022. The question put was:

"Are you prepared to take part in sustained and discontinuous strike action in furtherance of this dispute?

"Change to conditions of service [withdrawal from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and/or variation to pension provision]."

GDST own 23 independent girls’ schools across England and Wales. 75% of its teaching staff are members of the NEU, as of February 2022. Only teachers were eligible to vote in the indicative ballot. The NEU also represents staff at GDST working in other capacities.

GDST also owns two former independent schools which became academies. They have separate legal status and do not have the option of leaving the TPS, so their teaching staff are not part of this ballot.

Press contacts:

Gareth Lloyd, Senior Wales Officer: 07815071419

Mary van den Heuvel, Senior Policy Officer for Wales: 07436549606

Note to editors:

  • The National Education Union stands up for the future of education. It brings together the voices of more than 450,000 teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders working in maintained and independent schools and colleges across the UK, to form the largest education union in Europe.
  • It is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing its members in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
  • The National Education Union is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). It is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.