When news happens, text AND and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Basingstoke schools announce closure ahead of strike action
SEVERAL Basingstoke schools have announced that they will close, or partially close, next Thursday because of the planned industrial action.
Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and NASUWT are planning to strike against the Government’s education reforms, pay, conditions and pensions on October 17.
Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School, in St Michael’s Road, South Ham, will be shut on the day.
Anthony Corish, headteacher, wrote to parents yesterday to say: “A significant number of staff are involved and I am unable to open the school as normal on October 17, as a consequence the school will be closed to students.”
The only exception will be Year 9 pupils, who are going on a trip to Intech.
Mr Corish added: “I have not taken the decision to close the school lightly, but on this occasion have no choice. I hope for a speedy resolution of this dispute.”
Charlie Currie, headteacher at Brighton Hill Community School, wrote to parents on October 8 to inform them that the school will be closed for Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils.
He added that he will close the entire school “If I consider that it is not safe to remain open.”
However, Mr Currie hopes to keep the school open for Year 10 and 11, but said: “In the event the industrial action is a great deal more disruptive than I am currently anticipating, we may need to make a very late change to these arrangements.”
Parents at The Vyne, in South View, found out by text message today of the school’s plans for October 17.
Mark Kingswood, headteacher, wrote to them on October 8 to say: “At this stage it is unclear to what extent The Vyne will be affected. My wish, of course, is to keep The Vyne open for as many students as possible.”
He told The Gazette that parents have been informed that the school will close for Year 7, 8 and 9.
Hatch Warren Junior School, in Gershwin Road, Brighton Hill has announced it will be closed on October 17, and St Mary’s Junior School, in Old Basing will be closed to Year 3 and 4 children.
The county council has written to all headteachers providing information for staff on the implications of participating in industrial action.
Staff do not have to advise their headteacher of their intention to strike, making it difficult for schools to predict the level of impact.
However, the council has asked headteachers to try and find out ahead of the day whether any staff will be taking part, and the likely impact, including whether they need to close, or partially close.
Councillor Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for education, 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 headteachers and their governing bodies. They will have to decide whether they have sufficient staff to enable them to open the school safely and maintain a full or revised curriculum and it may not be possible for schools to gauge the impact of the strike until the actual day.
“Staff who do strike will not be paid for that day in accordance with nationally set legislation. As always, the county council’s primary concern is for the education and welfare of children.”
For a full list of school closures click here
Comments are closed on this article.