Striking teachers have been joining brass bands in their thousands as the hardships start to bite in teaching communities across the country as a result of today’s strike.
‘We’re all up against it at the moment’ explained geography teacher Pete McGregor. ‘We’ve all lost a day’s pay already – I don’t even know if I’ll be able to buy the Times Educational Supplement this week. I may be reduced to scavenging for education related articles and features on the internet. My father was a geography teacher, and his father before him, and his father's father. What else am I supposed to do - form a troupe of male strippers? The band’s all we’ve got to keep us going. It’s giving the community hope in these troubled times.’
Today has also seen an upsurge in applications from teenage boys to join ballet schools up and down the country. ‘There’s no future in teaching any more’ said one young applicant, ‘so I’m turning to dance as a way to express my feelings towards the spending cuts.’ Unfortunately for him the ballet school was shut as all the dance teachers were on strike.
Not everyone is supporting the strike however. One home economics teacher, who wanted remain anonymous, said ‘I’ve been ostracised by my neighbours, who all happen to be teachers. All I want to do though is teach children how to make swiss rolls and trifles.’
Many band-members were involved in angry scenes earlier today as furious teachers attempted to stop colleagues from crossing picket lines. Thousands of furious teaching union members yelled ‘scab!’ and hurled expertly sharpened pencils at police cordons as supply teachers were bussed in under a police escort in an attempt to keep schools open. ‘A number of our officers were injured and taken to the sick room following this morning’s clashes’ explained Chief Constable Martin Brown. ‘We’re obviously very concerned about the escalation of violence, and we have our suspicions that flying pickets from the civil service were involved today.’
Home Secretary Teresa May told reporters that the Government would remain firm despite the protests. ‘We’re putting together a plan for schoolchildren to be taken on school trips in convoys until the dispute is over’ she said.
Many celebrities are supporting the cause however. Hardship funds have been set up to keep teachers in red pens and bad jokes, and Billy Bragg has announced that he is re-releasing his single ‘Which Side are You On?’, with all proceeds to help keep teachers supplied with leather elbow patches.