The National Education Union (NEU) has balloted its members for strike action, meeting the requirement for more than 50% of members taking part, and receiving a very clear mandate of 90.44%. As most of our teachers are NEU members this means we are likely to close most or all of our classes on the following days:
Wednesday 1st February
Wednesday 1st March
Wednesday 15th March (as we are Eastern Region not South East)
Thursday 16th March
The NEU has indicated it is willing to talk to the government about its demand for a fully-funded pay increase and we hope that an agreement can be made before these strikes take place. However, this currently does not look likely, and we need to ask parents to have alternative arrangements ready in case. This applies to our own staff who are also parents as children will only able to come into school that day if their own teacher is not striking.
If teachers tell us they intend to take strike action we may be able to restrict closure to those classes only, but teachers are not obliged tell us in advance. We know almost all of our teachers are in the NEU but we are not allowed to ask specific staff if they are members. It is also possible for non-members to join the strike provided they are not in another union that has balloted unsuccessfully. We therefore have great difficulty in predicting which classes we could open. Please therefore assume that we will be closed on the above dates, and we will tell you that we can be open for your child, if and when we have that information.
The class pages on our website have plenty of appropriate activities for children to be able to continue their learning at home during this time.
If your child is entitled to Free School Meals (not just the Universal Free School Meals that all infant children can have, but as a means tested benefit) then we will give you with a voucher for £5 for you to provide two lunches.
We regret the inconvenience caused but also recognize that teachers' pay is significantly less in real terms than it was 10 years ago and they have a right to take this action after repeated union requests for a fairer settlement through other channels have failed.