Dear Parents and Carers
I am sure you will have heard in the news about the upcoming Teacher Strikes.
The strike days are planned for:
Wednesday 1st February
Wednesday 1st March
Wednesday 15th March
Thursday 16th March.
I have been working closely with NEU Union Representatives at Parkside and it is likely that up to 90% of the teachers at Parkside will be striking in favour of better pay and better funding for schools in regards to teacher pay (currently the Government are not giving any additional funding to schools for any of the pay awards, this is leaving schools in a difficult position and having to cut back on the provision they have in place for the pupils).
In light of this information I have completed a full risk assessment for the strike days and shared this with the Chair of Governors and Vice Chair of Governors. The outcome of the risk assessment clearly concluded that with 90% of teachers striking, the current rates of staff sickness and the vacancies we have at Parkside, it is not safe to open fully to all pupils. Supervision levels would not be high enough to keep the pupils safe. It is also likely that we will have staff that will need to be at home with their own children in the event of other schools closing.
Therefore, along with the Governors I have taken the pragmatic decision to close to pupils apart from our most vulnerable pupils, that have support from Children’s services for a range of reasons. This makes up about 25% of our families and this would be a safe number of pupils to manage within school for that day. We will contact these families directly. If you are not contacted directly by Wednesday, please assume the school is closed for your child on 1st February. We are aware of a very small number of front line NHS workers, with two parents working as key workers and we will also contact these families.
We will not be providing remote learning on the strike days and the provision in school will resemble ‘childcare’ as we will not have teachers available to plan lessons. We will ensure the transport at the Local Authority is notified ahead of time.
We are aware that this is likely to cause some challenges for families and we apologise for this. I know the decision to strike would have been a last resort for our teachers and would not have been taken lightly.
If there are any further developments, I will write to you again and update the risk assessment accordingly.
Carolyn Ellis-Gage (pronouns she/her)