Thousands of teachers across England are on strike today (July 5th) against education cuts, an impossible workload and the break up of the national education service. The right wing UK government continues to inflict vicious austerity policies on public services, meaning that class sizes are growing and many subjects disappearing from the curriculum. The cuts also mean that services for children with special needs are particularly badly affected.

At the same time, the government is pursuing corporate reform policies which are driving up teachers' workload, and the increasing privatisation of schools. As a result, teachers' terms and conditions, which for a century have been determined nationally are being hived off to local so-called academies and chains.

91% of teachers voting in the strike ballot were in favour of action, with further strikes planned for the autumn. The strikes come against a background of turmoil in the UK, after a divisive referendum over membership of the European Union, which has seen an upsurge in racism and intolerance on a scale largely unseen in the country for many years. On the other hand there is a resurgence in actions against cuts and austerity.

UK teachers, in fighting for publicly accountable, democractic and properly funded education, are engaged in the same struggle as millions of people across the European Union and the globe, fighting dispossession and the destruction of public services. The National Union of Teachers, which is organising the strike, is reaching out to parents and communities across the country and is in a position to play a key role in the fight to provide an alternative to the politics of austerity, racism and despair.