The Department of Education has responded after members of teaching union NASUWT backed strike action.

It said in a statement: ‘The government is committed to providing the best package for its teachers and will be actively engaging with all recognised teaching unions about a pay deal for the year ahead.

‘A further uplift has been recommended by the Independent School Teachers Review Body in the UK and, if verified, could see all the island’s teachers receive between 5% and 8.9% from September 2022.

‘The decision by one union – the NASUWT - to take industrial action is being taken extremely seriously and the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC) is working with them to find an equitable solution.

‘Earlier this year, the DESC implemented London fringe pay scales and an additional Isle of Man weighting of 1%. This saw all teachers receive an uplift of between 2% - 7.6%, backdated to September 1, 2021.

‘The NASUWT represent just over half of the 850 teachers employed by the DESC, and our understanding is that whilst just over half voted, under half were in support of further action.’

Julie Edge, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, added: ‘I greatly value the teaching profession and remain committed to resolving all issues, which have been raised. Recognising the need to address three key elements for the profession, recruitment, retention and an affordable and sustainable pay increase.

‘The way forward is for us all to work together towards a positive outcome for staff, students and the island as a whole. I appreciate progress can sometimes appear slower than we would all wish it to be, but it is important to ensure that solutions are appropriate and sustainable for the future.

‘Schools will endeavour to operate as normal as possible during this escalation and the safeguarding and wellbeing of our students’ continue to be at the heart of all decision making.’

The department added it will meet with the NASUWT next week and again calls for the de-escalation of actions, which have led to some children being sent home in two Douglas schools this week, disrupting their education.