Dear Parents and Carers,
As you will no doubt be aware from the news, some teaching unions have called for strike action to take place on the following dates:
The strike action is happening because of a national dispute between the unions and government regarding pay and unfunded pay increases for staff, which will impact the funding available for pupils' education within schools. This is not a dispute with the school.
This does not necessarily mean that Alexandra Primary School will be closed on those days. Not all of our teaching staff are NEU members and not all NEU members will exercise their right to take strike action.
Unfortunately, there is no requirement of union members to inform me as to whether they are choosing to strike, and additionally we are unable to request that colleagues not striking cover the lessons of those not in school. Given the information that we are already aware of, it is unlikely that we will be able to run a normal school day on the Wednesday, 1st February, unless the strike action is called off. We will accordingly be doing all that we can to remain open for as many of our children as possible.
We must accept that there may be some disruption, both because of NEU members exercising their right to strike and because of other staff being unable to come in because their own children cannot attend school. At this point, unfortunately, I cannot give detailed information. We will of course keep you up to date about this, but I am aware that some of you may have to make alternative child care arrangements.
We may be able to offer some small provision for vulnerable pupils if the school is able to stay open. If this is the case, we will be in contact with families who are eligible for this.
In addition, legal protections covering strike action mean that we cannot guarantee cover for staff absent due to strike action, either in school or by remote learning. This may mean that we will be obliged to reduce teaching provision or close some classes at short notice and, though currently unlikely, that the school may need to be closed for some strike days.
I know that many of you will be worried about this, and I will be consulting with staff and planning as best we can to minimize the impact on our families. I will let you know as soon as I can give you more complete information.
In the meantime, I understand that there will be differences of opinion about the strike action. Some of you will support the action, which many public sector staff are taking in these difficult times; some of you will be against it because of the disruption that it may cause. I ask, though, that whether you support the action or not, you bear in mind that this is a legal right, and that our teaching staff would not be exercising that right, unless they feel they have good cause to do so.