Thousands of teachers are set to strike again next week on Thursday, March 2 - but it’s a strike day that will have an even bigger impact than usual as the industrial action falls on World Book Day. The National Education Union (NEU) voted in favour of the regional strike action which will take place across the South West and South East of England as well as London in a long-standing dispute over pay.
World Book Day is an important event on the school calendar that sees children dress up as their favourite fictional characters from books. Pupils in the UK are also given a voucher to spend on “£1 books” as part of the event, a scheme that has been running since 1998.
Some schools encourage children to take part in a particular theme. This year’s theme is You Are A Reader, which encourages children from disadvantaged backgrounds to read.
It’s not known whether schools will celebrate World Book Day on a different date or call the event off altogether. But a statement on the World Book Day website is urging schools to hold the event on another day that works best for them.
It reads: “World Book Day encourages children to develop a love of reading every day of the year. World Book Day is on Thursday, March 2 this year, but schools and nurseries are always able to hold their World Book Day events and activities whenever works best for their communities.
“The World Book Day website provides a huge range of events, resources and materials for teachers and families to support their encouragement of reading for pleasure, all year round.” Meanwhile, it’s looking unlikely that the NEU will call next week’s strike off. It said last week that despite steps being taken by the Department of Education, a compromise that both sides are happy with is a long way off.
World Book Day £1/€1.50 book tokens can still be exchanged for a £1/€1.50 book from February 16 to March 26. For more information, visit the World Book Day website.