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Industrial Action

Posted / January 23rd 2023

As you will no doubt be aware from the media, the National Education Union (NEU) will be taking industrial action in the form of a strike on the following days:

●                 Wednesday 1st February

●                 Thursday 2nd March

●                 Wednesday 15th March

●                 Thursday 16th March

The union dispute is not with Springwest Academy, but is part of national industrial action organised by the NEU against the Secretary of State for Education, with respect to providing schools with additional and sufficient funds to award a fully funded pay increase for staff.

There is a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention that must be addressed, and part of the central issue is the real-terms erosion in pay. As a profession we are fighting for a qualified, specialist teacher in every classroom.

There is no requirement on the NEU to inform us of which members of staff will take action and it may be that they will not know themselves as there is no obligation on members of unions to obey a strike call.

Neither the Trust Board nor the Principal is legally allowed to close the school ‘in sympathy’ with the strike and we will not do so. However, our main concern is the safety of our students. The school will only close if, in our opinion, it is not safe to remain open. If it does remain open, it is unlikely that lessons will be normal and there may have to be sessions of private study supervised by a senior member of staff.  We will endeavour to protect the education of those on examination courses.

As we may not know until very late how many staff will be available to work, the decision to close may have to be taken at the last minute.However, every effort will be made to give notice of likely plans as we know them with a clear steer the day before; but in case the decision has to be made on the day itself, we are asking parents to nominate a place of safety, which may be your home, to which your child can go if we have to close. Students attached to the ARC and the Centre will be provided for as usual and we will expect all of these students to attend. Transport will be arranged as usual. We will inform families of the school’s decision by text message, email and the school’s website: www.springwestacademy.org.

We must all hope that the issues over which the industrial action has arisen are resolved as soon as possible.