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55 schools across Southampton and Hampshire to close over teachers' strike
MORE than 50 schools across Hampshire will now be closing their doors to pupils when teachers take to the picket line next week.
Hundreds of teachers are expected to take industrial action over changes to their pensions, pay and conditions, but as strikers are under no obligation to inform their head teachers if they are taking part, many schools still do not know if they will have to shut.
So far 55 schools across the county have confirmed that they will be either closed or partially closed on Thursday, giving parents just under a week to arrange alternative childcare.
As previously reported, the main teaching unions the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union Women Teachers (NASUWT) will stage their joint day of action as part of a series of rolling strikes.
NASUWT executive member Paul Watkins told the Daily Echo that it is the intention of the unions to shut every school and that head teachers should be supporting striking members.
But when contacted by the Daily Echo yesterday, 48 schools were able to confirm they would be open on Thursday, despite industrial action, with many more due to decide on Monday.
Many of those who have announced partial closures, such as The Romsey School and Quilley School of Engineering in Eastleigh, will still be open to Year 11 pupils, in a bid to cause as little disruption to those students studying for their GCSEs.
A total of 22 Southampton schools had announced closures by the end of school yesterday as well as 33 in Hampshire.
He said: “We do not believe strike action helps children’s education and I hope the decision of unions to ask their members to take part in an industrial day of action does not lead to widespread disruption.”
“This dispute is not with the county council but with the Government over changes to teachers’ pay, pensions and conditions.
“Any decisions to close schools will be for individual head teachers and their governing bodies.
He added that staff who do strike will not be paid for the day, in accordance with legislation.
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