STAFF at Stourbridge’s King Edward VI College were among members of the National Education Union who took to the picket line yesterday (Thursday April 27) with further strike action planned next week.

Union members walked out to highlight their frustrations with the sector and to call for a fully-funded, above-inflation pay rise.

Staff at King Edward’s waved placards outside the ring road entrance to the top college which has consistently achieved outstanding A-level results.

English and media teacher Georgia Preston Sell, NEU rep at King Edward’s, said: “It is the last thing that staff want to be doing at this crucial time of the academic year, but education is in crisis, and sixth form colleges are at the extreme end of the crisis.

“The offer of 4.5 per cent and £1,000 one off payments was rejected overwhelming by schoolteachers.

“But this offer was not even given to sixth form teachers, and the government has not engaged at all with our sector's dispute.

“Additional funding was given to schools in the Autumn Statement but there was no additional funding given to sixth forms.

“King Edward’s is a valuable education provider for the people of Stourbridge and surrounding areas.

“We have an overall pass rate of 99.6 per cent at A level and 87.4 per cent of students achieved A*to C, and 67.4 per cent achieved A* to B, in both cases five per cent above the national average.

“But we need more funding to keep providing high quality education.”

A further day of strike action is planned for Tuesday May 2 after the May Day Bank Holiday.