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Winchester secondary schools set to close for one-day strike
12:03pm Tuesday 8th October 2013 in Winchester
SCHOOLS across Winchester will be closed as members of the two biggest trade unions are set to strike in a row over pay and pensions.
It is not yet clear how many other schools will be hit by the walkout organized by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and NASUWT.
The strikers are angry about changes to pensions, increased workload and Government plans to bring in performance-related pay.
The one-day strike is part of a continuing campaign of strikes by the two biggest teaching unions.
Meanwhile the government has said it will disrupt learning, inconvenience parents and damage the reputation of teachers.
In a letter to parents, Janice Bernard, headteacher of Perins, said: “We have looked very carefully at what is possible on this day and we have taken the hard decision that for the majority of students, including Year 11, the school will be closed.
“We will be open for year seven and year eight students but this provision is really only for the very small number of parents who are unable to make alternative arrangements on this day.”
Mrs Bernard said students would be supervised on site and should bring their own activities as there would be no teaching.
She went on: “We hope that our plans means that we will be able to operate in this way but there is a very slight danger that a decision to close the school fully may have to be taken at the very last minute.”
Councillor Peter Edgar, who is responsible for education at the county council, said: "Any decisions to close schools will be for individual head teachers and their governing bodies to make.
“They will have to decide whether they have sufficient staff to enable them to open the school safely and maintain a full or revised curriculum and it may not be possible for schools to gauge the impact of the strike until the actual day.
“Headteachers have been advised to inform staff, that if they do strike, they will not be paid for that day in accordance with nationally set legislation. As ever, the county council's primary concern is for the education and welfare of children."
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