Planned strike action means day off for kids

University Academy Holbeach students are facing a day off on Tuesday because of strike action by teachers. Photo:SG050713-226TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto
University Academy Holbeach students are facing a day off on Tuesday because of strike action by teachers. Photo:SG050713-226TW www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/buyaphoto

Hundreds of children across South Holland are facing a day off school because of planned strike action next week.

Members of two teachers’ unions representing up to nine out of ten staff are to strike on Tuesday over changes to their pay and pension conditions.

The planned strike has already forced University Academy Holbeach to close on Tuesday, while both Spalding High School and Peele Community College, Long Sutton, will only be open for certain year groups.

Steve Baragwanath, principal of University Academy Holbeach, said: “We have been closely monitioring the number of teachers who will be striking on the day and we have now reached a number that makes it impossible for the school to operate safely.

“We have sent a letter to parents letting them know the situation that the academy will be closed on Tuesday due to strike action.”

Spalding High School will only be open for lessons to years seven and eight on Tuesday, while years 12 and 13 are being allowed in to use the school’s study facilities.

But acting headteacher Doreen Bamford said: “If any parents have severe difficulties with childcare arrangements, please contact the school and we may be able to arrange for your child to attend and work under supervision.

“The school will remain open, buses will run as normal and lunch will be available.”

Peele Community College will only be open for years ten and 11 on Tuesday but headteacher Simon Gilman said: “We will try to maintain their learning as best as possible.”

Nigel Ryan, headmaster of Spalding Grammar School, said classes would run as normal for all year groups, but the picture is less clear at primary schools in South Holland with only Quadring Cowley and Brown’s Primary School set to be closed.

Debbie Barnes, director of Children’s Services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We have advised schools that if they will be without staff, they have to consider whether there is adequate cover to ensure the safety of children.

“This will determine whether they should close for the day or not.”