The National Union of Teachers (NUT) have set a rigid six-month deadline for the next government to increase funding for schools or face a series of strikes.
Hard-left delegates at the NUT annual conference at Harrogate amended a motion Sunday to specify calling a strike ballot after the autumn statement, unless all education cuts are retracted.
Previously, the NUT’s ruling executive had planned to lobby incoming ministers before committing to industrial action. The motion removes any flexibility.
Delegates also moved an amendment ramping up the union’s demands for a four-day working week and a pay rise of £2,000. Initially, this appears to have been defeated on a show of hands, but the results of a card vote will now be revealed later today.
Another motion passed calling for positive reference to gay relationships in sex education and references to gay sexuality to be reflected in all subjects taught in schools.
There were also complaints about teachers being asked to do their bit to tackle Islamic extremism. Teachers denounced the government’s Prevent strategy, saying it was not needed because radicalised pupils could be dealt with under child protection laws.
Executive member Alex Kenny defended radical Muslim students who were offended by cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo. He said such students were shut out of debate because of the Prevent strategy, rather than their extreme views.
The threatened strikes follow similar action taken in March last year over pay, pensions and conditions which resulted in thousands of school closures in England and Wales.