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Hart Plain Junior School

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Update on industrial action 17.10.13

Most of school open - please click for more information

11th October 2013

 

 

Dear Parents

 

Planned Industrial Action on Thursday 17th October 2013

 

I am now able to give you some more definite information about what will be happening on Thursday.

 

I am expecting that all the classes, with the exception of 5A and 4G, will be open. The children in the open classes are unaffected and should attend as normal. I am expecting that 5A and 4G will not be running, and so the children in these classes should not come to school. This will be recorded as a ‘Y’ code (Enforced Closure) rather than an absence, and so their attendance rate will not be affected.

 

I am sorry that this may lead to a difficult situation for some families. I am keen, however, to avoid unnecessary disruption to the children’s education, and will endeavour to minimise the impact on working families. Therefore, I have taken the decision to have the maximum number of children in school as possible.

 

None of the teachers have taken the decision lightly to strike or not to strike and, regardless of their decision, they are fully committed to your children’s education.

 

Union members are not required to tell employers in advance of their intention to strike; I am grateful to the whole teaching staff for letting me know in good time. Please be aware, however, that, should teachers change their minds, I may need to change our plans. I will write to you on Wednesday to give final confirmation.

 

I have attached some further details to give you more information about how I have reached this decision. However, should you wish to discuss this or any other matter with me, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

Yours sincerely

 

  

Mrs N Tettmar

Headteacher

 

Is my child’s class definitely going to be affected or not affected by the strike?

Teachers are not required to inform their employer until the morning of the strike if they are going to be taking action. However, all the teachers have let me know their intentions in advance to allow parents to make alternative arrangements for their child. They have done so again this time.

 

Why were only some classes affected by the strike? Wouldn’t it be fairer to close the whole school?

I wish to keep as much of the school open as possible to minimise the disruption. As a Headteacher, I must make a decision regarding the health and safety of pupils. If there are enough staff present in school to ensure that pupils are safe at all times including break times, assemblies etc. then the school will remain open for those classes where the teachers are not involved in the industrial action. If the majority of teachers choose to take part in the industrial action, the school may have to be closed, but teachers have indicated to me that this will not be the case at Hart Plain Junior School.

 

Why can’t the school employ supply teachers to cover the classes of striking teachers?

Supply agencies are not permitted to provide supply cover for striking teachers.

 

Why can’t the classes of striking teachers be split or covered by other staff in the school?

Teachers who are not involved in strike action cannot be asked to take on additional duties to cover for their colleagues on a strike day. This includes teaching additional children, or taking different classes than they would normally.

 

I have two children in the school. If only one of their classes is affected by the strike, can I keep the other at home too?

If the decision is made to keep some classes open then it is expected that pupils of these classes will attend. Our aim is to keep disruption of learning to a minimum and we ask for parents to support us with this.