Conciliation talks led by ACAS will not take place in the teacher pay dispute after the Department for Education refused an offer from education unions.

On Monday (March 6) four education unions including the National Education Union wrote to education secretary Gillian Keegan suggesting “a day of conciliation talks convened by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)”.

However, speaking to ITV on Wednesday evening, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, confirmed that the offer had been rejected.

She said: “Unfortunately, Gillian Keegan wrote back just this evening about 6pm and said that she would not go to ACAS.

“We want to negotiate face-to-face but the secretary of state, the government, have put what we consider to be an unacceptable precondition – that we pause the strike action in favour of negotiations where we have virtually no idea about what the scope of those negotiations are.”

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