**The Isle of Wight County Press is partnering with Christ the King College in Newport to give young reporters the chance to find out what journalism is all about. We hope you enjoy their stories.

A number of national and regional teacher strikes are currently taking place across the Isle of Wight.

Teacher salaries in England fell by an average of 11 per cent between 2010 and 2022, and the National Education Union is striking against it.

The NEU is a trade union in the UK for school teachers, further education lecturers, education support staff and teaching assistants.

Their first strike was on the 1st February, with 3 more regional strikes scheduled for the 2nd, 15th and 16th March.

Dermott Foley, member of the NEU, explains that the aim of the educational strikes is to try and resolve the ongoing issues of teacher recruitment and pay gap.

“Staff have received either no increase or below inflation increases for the last 12 years resulting in a 23 per cent real term loss in pay.”

He also states how schools do not have enough money to increase teachers' pay, so it must come from the government.

“The money must come from existing school budgets. Schools don't have extra money. They never do. All money should be used to help students’ progress, but if pay is unfunded, programmes that schools use to help students will be cut."

However, there are now fewer than 40 school days left until the first GCSE examinations take place on the 15th May with A Level and other qualifications starting shortly afterwards. 

Jack Renshaw, a year 11 student at Christ the King College, feels that it is difficult to revise and prepare for the exams at home.

He said: "Revising and doing online work at home is hard, as there is no assistance when we need it." 

Fellow student, Lianne Ponferrada, believes that teacher strikes will have more of an impact at this time of year.

She said: “If strikes take place during exam periods, it's a more impactful statement and gives a greater chance for the government to react.”

However Lianne also feels under lots of pressure, so close to exams: “Every day, there are teachers counting down days to the exams, which make me feel extremely nervous about them.”