Teachers in London and Doncaster voted by nine to one this week for action to end the scandal of teacher shortages. They will not cover for vacant posts and long term absences. There is a national shortage of supply teachers, who are meant to fill gaps caused by full time vacancies.
Many teachers have been driven out of the job by inadequate pay and abuse such as New Labour's remarks about 'bog-standard' comprehensives. Some schools-most recently in Doncaster and Essex-have gone onto four-day weeks. 'No-cover' action by teachers can highlight New Labour's failure on education, and build confidence to take strike action over pay and the defence of comprehensive education.