As previously communicated, the National Education Union, is taking industrial action in schools in England and Wales on Wednesday 1st February, Tuesday 28th February (in the North West of England) and on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th March.
All schools have been issued guidance from the Department of Education for the strike days and we will be following that guidance. However the impact of this action will vary from school to school depending on the proportion of teachers within the NEU and their personal decisions on participating in strike action. Although we are aware that over two thirds of our teaching staff are currently members of the NEU, this is subject to change and teachers are not compelled to give us advance notice of their intentions for each of the strike action days.
Our main priority is to ensure the safety and supervision of pupils on site, therefore a thorough risk assessment has been conducted. Non-teaching staff are not on strike which means that normal service can be maintained for operational matters and pastoral staff are in school to ensure safeguarding and first aid provision remain in place.
I am writing to update you on the educational service the school will be able to provide on the first strike day of Wednesday 1st February given the anticipated teaching staff capacity we know we have available. We do not intend pursuing external supply cover for this day and are reluctant to ask teachers to cover classes for colleagues that are striking. Therefore we have limited capacity to provide a productive and safe learning environment on site for all pupils and have made the difficult decision to close some year groups and offer a remote learning programme for pupils to access at home.
This plan is for the first day of the strike only at this stage and will be reviewed prior to subsequent strike days.
Plans for Wednesday 1st February:
1. The school is open for all Year 11 pupils only, pupils are to enter via their usual gate at the usual time and head to the Theatre where they will register in form groups and will then be given a timetable for the day offering a combination of lessons, intervention, planned assessments and additional revision sessions.
2. Unfortunately Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 pupils will not be in school- they will be expected to complete work using the appropriate year group online learning platforms. We had hoped to open to Year 7 pupils, however it is now not possible to accommodate safely our largest year group with the declining staff numbers.
3. Provision will be in place for any vulnerable pupils across all year groups should they wish to attend school on strike days. These include; pupils with an EHCP, Children in care, children who have social care involvement. Please contact school on email@example.com in advance if you intend to access a place so we can monitor attendance safely. Pupils are to report to the theatre on arrival for registration.
4. Access to online learning platforms and activities are identified on the attached guidance document. Live lessons will not be provided.
5. If your child is currently eligible for Free school meals and is not in school on 1st February we will be providing vouchers which will be sent via email.
6. The school bus will be available for those that are attending school and normally use this service.
We understand this may cause additional childcare arrangements for families and for this reason the decision to close the school to the majority of pupils has not been taken lightly. We will endeavour to ensure that we are able to continue to provide our pupils with their educational provision. I will contact you again regarding arrangements for the next planned strike action day at the end of February.
Thank you for your understanding and continued support.