Teachers at sixth form colleges face last-minute High Court bid to stop strike


Teachers at sixth form colleges are facing a last-minute High Court bid to stop their strike.

Mr Justice Kerr must decide by the end of Monday whether to grant an urgent declaration that Tuesday's planned industrial action would be unlawful.

Counsel Clive Sheldon QC, for the Secretary of State for Education, told the judge that it was not a trade dispute within the meaning of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

Mr Sheldon said that it could not be a trade dispute as it was not predominantly about terms and conditions of employment.

There was no such current dispute with the teachers' employers, as a pay dispute had recently been settled.

On its face, the dispute was about funding cuts and was one element of the union's campaign to defend what they called the attacks on the sixth form college sector.

"The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has accepted that if you grant the declaration, that will call off the strike," said Mr Sheldon.

The NUT says that the Secretary of State has no standing to bring the application and there is a valid basis not to grant the declaration.