Schools closing over teachers' strike

MORE than 40 schools in Suffolk are expected to be affected by strike action this week as information continues to emerge on numbers of teachers preparing to walk out.

MORE than 40 schools in Suffolk are expected to be affected by strike action this week as information continues to emerge on numbers of teachers preparing to walk out.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) is staging its first walkout for 21 years on Thursday over an ongoing pay dispute.

So far 26 schools have announced they will have to close in Suffolk - while a further 13 said they would partially shut with some classes or year groups suspended for the day. This figure is expected to increase over the coming days.

Suffolk and Cheshire are expected to be the counties worst hit by the action.

Schools affected will include Chantry High School in Ipswich, Stowmarket Middle School and Hadleigh High School.

Graham White, an association secretary with the Suffolk branch of the NUT, said: “I would have thought there will be a few more schools announcing closures as schools do not need to be told until 48 hours before the strike about how many staff are going out.”

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Mr White said the strike action has not been taken lightly and comes on the back of five years of below inflation increases.

A three-year deal of increases of a 2.45 per cent rise this year followed by two rises of 2.3 pc is currently on offer from central government.

However the teaching union is seeking a 10 pc, or £3,000, increase this year followed by inflation-matching increases in subsequent years.

“We want to get into proper negotiations and not just where we are told this is how you are getting, take it or leave it,2 he said.

“Teachers don't take strike action without good reason, it is not a decision taken lightly.”

Suffolk County Council has advised headteachers to write to parents and carers warning them of the possibility that the strike may affect the school opening.

A telephone hot line is available on 0845 603 1842 and is staffed from 8.30am to 6pm weekdays.

Are teachers right to take strike action? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Leiston High

Leiston Middle

Saxmundham Middle classes

Stowmarket Middle

Waldringfield Primary

Wetheringsett VCP (years R to 4 closing - years 5 and 6 open)

Sudbury Upper (years 9 and 10 will be closed)

St Gregory's (closed, but nursery open)

Chantry High School (Sixth Form classes and a self-supported study room for year 11 pupils, will be open)

Hadleigh High School (year 11 will be open: the rest of the school will be closed)

Cedarwood Primary (classes 5CE, 3EA, and Foundation A will be open)

Hadleigh Community Primary (classes 6EC, 6J, 3M and 3WB will close)

Rushmere Hall (Classes 3HI, 4A, 4B, 5T, and Special Unit will be open)

Thomas Wolsey (Key stage 1 and the nursery will remain open: the rest of the school will be closed)

Halifax Primary will be partially closed - 5 classes closed (they are 2CF, 3/4EG and 3/4GR)

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