PARENTS and pupils are facing a day of disruption later this month as one of the leading teachers’ unions have called a national strike.
The National Union of Teachers are in a long running dispute with the Government over pay and conditions, in what they say is a battle for the future of education.
As a result, schools in the town are preparing for the action, which will take place on March 26, with some already announcing they will not be open for the day as they will not be able to provide adequate cover.
Isambard School has about 30 members of staff in the union, amounting to almost half of its teaching staff, so have already sent out a letter to parents saying they will not be open for the day.
Youngsters in Years 7, 8 and 9 at Lydiard Park Academy have also been told not to come in if the strike goes ahead while Kings-down School have asked parents to name a place of safety their child can go to in case the school has to close at the last minute because of the industrial action.
Teachers are not obliged to tell their employers whether they are on strike until the day, while teachers in other unions have been told not to provide cover and supply teachers are not available on that day.
Swindon Council are unlikely to know whether primary schools will be open or closed until shortly before the strike date.
Union leaders are in talks with the Government so the strike may be called off but say they are tired of what appears to be a campaign against the teaching profession.
Nina Franklin, the NUT South West Regional Officer, said: “We are taking action because of the Government’s continuing onslaught on our pay and conditions.
“It is action which is being taken reluctantly as always and there are talks taking place but Michael Gove has said they cannot be about the policies, only their implementation.
“This is not just about us but the education for everyone’s children. We know that 60 per cent of teachers leave the profession within the first five years which, if it continues, will leave a shortage not only of staff but also of experience.
“The Government’s review showed that the average working week in the teaching profession is ridiculous so we want help to reduce the workload.”
Keep up to date on all the schools which will affected by the closure on this website.