TEACHER STRIKES: ‘I have to justify giving myself one day off per weekend just to focus on me’


A teacher at a local school has defended strike action that took place on Thursday (Ocotber 17) following comments criticising teachers on the County Times’ website.

Gray Panton, 30, also spoke of his ‘guilt’ at having a personal life outside of work, due to the demands of the job.

He said: “I love my job, but I do have to justify giving myself one day off per weekend just to focus on me.

“Even then I go through the guilt of potentially letting my students, colleagues, leaders and parents down because I wanted to go to the cinema or see my parents for an afternoon.

Mr Panton also invited critics of striking teachers to ‘come and share a day with a teacher, which on average starts at 7am and goes through to 10pm, dealing with assessment, developing new teaching ideas, behaviour management and inspiring young people in the classroom’.

Dan Eggington, 40, is a father of three from Horsham, and two of his children attend Kingslea Primary School, which was completely closed on Thursday.

As a result, his wife Tracey had a day off work to look after the children, but despite that Mr Eggington stressed his support for the teachers taking strike action.

He said: “Horsham is a lovely town with lovely people, and fantastic schools with good teachers.

“Striking is always a last resort - the teachers will not be paid for that day so its not like they are doing it at the drop of the hat.

“We are all accepting everything that is put on us in these hard times, we need to question things from time to time and I believe this is one of those times.

“I have heard and read the likes of ‘why should the teachers get a good pension, when I’m not getting one’ thrown around, but that’s not the teachers fault.”

What do you think? Were you a parent affected by the teacher strikes? Comment below or email harley.tamplin@jpress.co.uk with your views.