Dozens of schools likely to close tomorrow due to teachers’ strike

March 2014: Teachers held a strike rally at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley March 2014: Teachers held a strike rally at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
7:00 AM

Dozens of schools are due to close tomorrow when members of the National Union of Teachers hold a one-day strike in an ongoing national dispute over issues including pay, pensions and workloads.

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At least 22 schools have notified Norfolk County Council that they will be closed but, because they are under no obligation to tell the council, the final number is expected to be higher. The majority are believed to be primary schools.

A number of high schools said they would be partially open during the industrial action. Taverham High School tweeted that “only year 12 students should attend. We are unable to accommodate the other year groups on that day”.

Reepham High School and College said only year 10 and year 12 students were expected to attend, while Wymondham High principal Russell Boulton told parents half the staff could be on strike, so the school would only be open to sixth form students.

In a message to parents, Gerard Batty, executive headteacher of Stalham High School, said he did not know how many staff would take part in the strike,

But he added: “As you will be aware, Year 11 have left so, as of this moment, it is not my intention to shut the school to any year groups. There may be some minor disruption to some classes but we will try to ensure that students are in some gainful activity at all times.”

City of Norwich School said it would be open to all students, but warned: “We would ask for patience as there will be some disruption, including room changes and different lessons to normal.”

Iceni Academy in Methwold said it would remain open, while in a tweet Flegg High School said: “Currently hoping to be open, although there will be disruption to normal teaching. We will let parents know if this changes.”

Bluebell Primary and Avenue Junior in Norwich are among primary schools which will close.

Avenue Junior headteacher Debbie Dismore wrote: “The decision to close the school has not been taken lightly but in this instance, where the majority of staff have elected to take lawful industrial action, I will have no choice but to take appropriate steps to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all pupils.”

Do you support the strike action? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

19 comments

  • Why doesn't this comments page recognise the forward slash or paragraphs? * unions - associations

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    MF

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • Many schools will be closed but it not just because members of some teacher unionsassociations are on strike. Many other public sector workers' unionsassociations are also on strike and this has further implications for schools: Caretakers, Support Staff including TAs, Technicians and Cover Supervisors, Cleaners, Kitchen staff and so on. How can a school open without these staff? A teaching crisis is looming. Teachers are leaving the profession for many reasons, 1 of which is they have had enough of government, currently Mr Gove, meddling. Bullying is rife in many schools at the moment. Some teachers are being instructed by senior leaders to get their students to learn the answers to tests, ie CHEAT, to ensure the school gets the right percentage of passes in GCSEs. Many women teachers in their 50's are being hounded out because their face no longer fits. Teachers are being pressured to deep mark every single piece of work produced by every single pupil by many heads. Some schools in Norfolk have advertised posts for September but not got any applicants. Some Norfolk Primary schools have more than 3 teachers leaving at the end of this term. Some Secondary schools have over 15 staff leaving. There have been around 200 Primary teaching jobs advertised for Norfolk schools over the last 4 months but not all those teachers who have handed in their notice are going on to other teaching posts. Some don't even have a job to go to but they have reached the point of no return and are just desperate to get away.

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    MF

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • Education is being 'run into the ground' not by Mr Gove but by unions, and by some teachers who do NOT have to take these measures, and who DO have a choice. The inaction was not voted for by a majority of teachers, but by a majority of a small number who voted. Most teachers do a good job (it's not easy) but SOME might try some other job - but they wouldn't want to give up their pensions etc. oh no!

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    Patrick

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • It's a bit like the World Cup. Everyone has an opinion, but unless you're on the front line and have experienced it, it is very difficult to understand. We could all state this and that, and say how much better we could all do it, but actually, sitting behind a keyboard moaning about things we know nothing about is simple. Those of us in Education know what things are like, and as someone who has worked in both sectors, I know which one is easier! However, I've chosen the more rewarding one, not the one that gives me all my taxes back at the end of the year if I have a nice smart accountant, no pressure from anyone to hit targets other than myself, and no being tied by continual red-tape and moving goalposts. Despite all those benefits, I have still chosen to stay in education, despite a million broken promises, constantly changing (for the worse) conditions, and no hope of any decent pension at the end of it all. One final point. If a teacher works until their retirement age, they have a life expectancy of something like just under 3 years. Why are you all worrying about having to pay our pensions? If Mr Gove keeps us going until 68, we won't even get 2 years worth of pension by then!!!

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    OldSchool

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • Oh dear, foreVer Vitriolic, Vacant and Vicious.......have you got problems V or just a huge veritable chip on your shoulder? Get help mate before your anger kills you!!!!!!

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    Sportswagon

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • "Hit it Hard" (Love the monicker-what a toughie!)-had any experience in the classroom have you? Any insight into what teachers do? I doubt it. So easy, isnt it, to trot out the tired old chliches about long holidays, "secure" jobs, "if you cant stand the heat...leave" blah blah. if all the good ones left then the country rteally would be stuffed. I work in the "real world" and wouldnt cut it as a teacher, wouldnt have the patience....i admire what they do for our kids. Back 'em i say...and ignore the rampant stupidity of the minority remarks here!!

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    Stephen Strange

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • "If you don't like the heat get out the kitchen and leave" Teaching is something I believe is rewarded by not just money and benefits. It's rewarded when you teach a child it's times tables, when a child comes to you for support when heshe is in fear, seeing a child grow in confidence. "Teaching is a vocation"

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    Hit_it_hard

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • Funny how, when some commentators make detailed and reasoned arguments, the response is a stupid andor insulting one-liner. Far fromn sacking the strikers, I'd love to get "V" and his like out of their so-called "real world" and into a classroom for a day (after they prepared their lesson plans and finished all the marking) and see how long they lasted. I went to school in the 70s and the teaching my kids got is WAY better than what I received, but the behaviour is worse. Perhaps some of the commentators here had a bad experience at school, might explain their vitrilic and ignorant remarks. I think most teachers doa hard job beacuse they care about it and want their kids to do well in life- good luck to them and 100% support their justified strike action.

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    Stephen Strange

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • ." I think you'll find that they spent 4 years plus at university and training......." Yeh. and they are still useless, and cannot teach. Waste of 4 + years.

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    "V"

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • "...they should try working in a shop for 37 hours a week or doing farm work and get a taste of the real world." I think you'll find that they spent 4 years plus at university and training in order that they didn't have to do this, only to find that the deal they signed up for is a sea of targets, and constantly moving goalposts. Education is being run into the ground in this country by Mr Gove and his cronies. It is sad that professional people have to take these measures, but unfortunately I do feel they really have no other choice. Negotiations with this government (or more particularly, the Minister for Education) are impossible. He lives in cloud cuckoo land dreaming of how wonderful everything could be!!! One example? Mr Gove says that there is no reason that every school in the country can't be 'good' or better by Ofsted measures. When the Ofsted measure requires you to have better standardsresults etc than average, it tells you a lot. Perhaps Mr Gove could have a lesson on 'averages' and how they are attained from this Maths teacher whilst he is giving everyone else lessons on how to turn their decreasing salaries (in real terms) into fortunes. It appears some people are in the same world as Mr Gove, or just looking to stir up teachers (perhaps you may find Mr Gove there too!!!)

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    OldSchool

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • T Doff - full marks for a piece of unbiased, reasoned argument from presumably the one expert on teaching in the country. Now we know where we stand. Stand by your 'phone, Mr Gove will probably be calling you ...

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    Patrick

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • The problem with these Old Etonians that run our government is that they are used to getting their own way.What else is a "fag" for after all ?It results in them being incapable of negotiating which is to be expected when they are ordering their servants about all day.They are about to be an important lesson in life-negotiate.

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    Peter Watson

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • ".....they should try working in a shop for 37 hours a week or doing farm work and get a taste of the real world....." . Isn't it about time " Blister " you got a job in the real world and stopped trolling away on here all day ?

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • As usual, anyone who's ever been to school considers him- or herself an expert on teaching. These days, it is not the overpaid doddle that people think; as witness the large numbers of young people who take on the job, only to leave after a short time. It's not very easy "to organise workload better", when the organisation of, and the workload itself, is in part the unworkable product of a megalomaniac Secretary of State, assisted by an army of overpaid pen-pushing civil servants. I am sure that most have read Mr. Gove's words about enabling teaching to be a respected profession again. They are hardly consonant with enforcing a regime of low pay and conditions in Maintained schools, as part of a creeping political plan to remove all schools from the LAs. I should also point out that the teaching unions (at all levels, including tertiary education) have spent many fruitless hours trying to work out mutually agreeable compromises with the intractable Coalition Government. As usual, education, along with medicine, the Forces-you name it- is just another political football to be kicked around by 650 idiots in London, with the superior team being the prejudiced Government of the day.

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    T Doff

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • Typical behaviour from overpaid fat cat public sector workers, they should try working in a shop for 37 hours a week or doing farm work and get a taste of the real world,

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    blister

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • Did City of Norwich School really say " ... different lessons TO normal."? Or has the EDP got it wrong?

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    Patrick

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • 'No pay rise for years ...' so what about those who live on a pension and savings and find interest rates at around 0.1% for years - how can THEY go on strike. Some of the maths teachers should explain to their colleagues that for a bigger pension they have to contribute more for longer before they get it back, or steal it from other groups in society. The ballot showed a small percentage of the small percentage that voted in favour of strike action - not representative of many teachers who want to get on with the job, as a good maths teacher could explain! No time for striking. And don't come up with rubbish like 'leaves us no alternative ... '

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    Patrick

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • More ignorant commentary. "organise their workload better". Ever worked in a school "hit it hard". You obviously havent a clue what teachers are expected to do these days. Long working weeks including paper marking and preparing lesson plans, plus dealing with behaviour issues with kids whose parents "dont really care". I think most people in Norfolk DO care about teachers and know what a hard job they have....and no pay rise for years followed by 1%, while inflation and private sector pay is well above that....no wonder they are ready to strike. They deserve a better deal and I support them.

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    Stephen Strange

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

  • Another teacher strike? Moaning about workload, pay and pensions? I'm sure it's got to the point where the public don't really care? I know I don't it's become a way of life now in the teaching world! I have a friend on Facebook that has just become a teacher and her status was "first teachers strike tomorrow :)" like it's something to be proud of. Yes I would like more pay, better workload and a bigger pension! Why don't these people: A looking after their money better so it goes further B organise their workload better and C as everyone knows a pension is no way to fund retirement these days, look for an alternative! I have no time for teachers striking . More academy's I say

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    Hit_it_hard

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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