Crawley parents warned to be ready for school closures during teachers’ strike


West Sussex County Council has warned parents to be prepared for school closures during proposed strike action.

Industrial action by the National Union of Teachers is planned for next Thursday (July 10) as part of an ongoing dispute over pay, pensions and workload.

A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: “Parents are being advised to check with their child’s school to see what impact the action is likely to have and whether the school will be closed or partially closed to some classes.

“Parents should be aware in some cases a decision to close a school may be made at very short notice.”

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “The Government is still failing to make progress on our trade dispute over teachers’ pay, pensions and workload.

“The talks are still only about the implementation of Government policies, not about the fundamental issues we believe to be detrimental to education and the profession.

“For teachers, performance related pay, working until 68 for a full pension and heavy workload for 60 hours a week, is unsustainable.

“This action is the responsibility of a Government and Education Secretary who are refusing point blank to accept the damage their reforms are doing to the teaching profession. The consequences of turning teaching into a totally unattractive career choice will most certainly lead to teacher shortages.

“Strike action is a last resort for teachers and we deeply regret the disruption it causes parents and pupils. This date has been chosen to cause minimum disruption to examinations.

“Teaching is one of the best jobs in the world but is being made one of the worst under Michael Gove and the Coalition.

“It is time they listened.

“Michael Gove can still avoid the strike by engaging in serious negotiations on substantive issues.”

Three other Unions – Unison, GMB and Unite – are also planning industrial action that day which will lead to disruption of other council services.

A council spokesman said: “West Sussex County Council is continuing to work with unions to ensure that critical frontline services can be maintained for residents, although it is inevitable there will be some disruption to services on the day.”