Further strike action updates April 2023
Following the last strike days all teaching unions met with the DfE for two weeks of talks and from those talks a further pay offer emerged. That revised pay offer of an additional £1000 to add to the 2021-22 offer was then put to union members. All four unions involved in the dispute, the National Education Union (NEU), the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), the NASUWT, and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), have now rejected that offer. The NEU rejected the offer with a 98% majority. Teachers in Wales and Scotland have now settled their pay claims and will continue to earn more than teachers in England in the future.
This now means that there could be further days of strike action at Thornton Heath Nursery School. The first might be next Thursday 27th April and the second might be Tuesday 2nd May. Our NEU reps have told us that although they informed us before the March strike days about which teachers were taking action they will not be doing the same this time, as they are perfectly entitled to do under the law. Leaders at Thornton Heath Nursery School can ASK staff about their intentions but they do not have to tell us. Therefore when we issue letters about which classes will be open we will have to have three categories – ‘Open’, ‘Closed’ and ‘Undeclared’. Parents in classes where staff have not declared what they are doing should not make any assumptions about the class being open and should have other arrangements in place for their child’s care on those days. This is a wholly unsatisfactory state of affairs for all of us but we would repeat that this situation is out of our control and, if they have concerns, parents and carers should contact their MP to make suggestions as to how to how government might properly pay teacher and attract new staff to the profession. It is beyond the power of Thornton Heath Nursery School staff to resolve this dispute.
Proposed Strike Action 15th and 16th March 2023
The school will be open as normal.
Proposed Strike Action 2nd March 2023
The school will be open as normal.
25TH JANUARY 2023
I wrote to parents last Tuesday about the vote for strike action that had been announced by the NEU and the possible impact of this vote on our school (see news story of 19th January below). Having now met with the teachers who are members of the NEU it is clear that there is a real strength of feeling regarding the issues of teachers’ pay, teacher recruitment and school funding and that teachers at THNS will take action on the 1st February. We are mindful of the requirement to take all reasonable steps to keep our school open for as many pupils as possible and so where staff are available their classes will remain open. However, we need to give parents and carers early notice that for the majority of children, THNS will be closed on the first strike day – Wednesday 1st February. Given that the strike has been heavily supported for this first strike day we think it is reasonable to assume that there will be further disruption on the three strike days that follow – 2nd March, 15th March and 16th March.
I have written to parents today (Wednesday 25th January) with details of which children will not be able to attend school on Wednesday 1st February 2023. This dispute is between the NEU and Secretary of State for Education and is very much out of the nursery’s hands. We are pleased to have been able to give a full week’s notice for classes that will be closed and hope for a speedy resolution of this dispute between the NEU and the DfE.
19th January 2023
Many of you will have read in the news that teachers who are members of the National Education Union (NEU) have voted in favour of strike action as a result of a national dispute with the Secretary of State for Education over teachers’ pay and school funding. The days currently planned for strike action in our region are:
- Wednesday, 1st February
- Thursday, 2nd March
- Wednesday, 15th March
- Thursday, 16th March
This planned action may result in us not being able to open to some or all pupils on those days. We are currently working to ascertain the likely impact on our school on those days and I will write to you again once we know more.
We appreciate that this industrial action could cause disruption to the learning of our children and young people and that families might have to make alternative arrangements for childcare during these days. We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause but this dispute is with the Secretary of State for Education and is very much out of Thornton Heath Nursery School’s hands.
We will do our very best to open on those days, where it is possible to maintain the required statutory adult to child ratios. However, the we are always keen to keep parents and carers updated so I thought it would be helpful to let you know as early as possible that, unfortunately, it may not be possible to admit your child on those days and give you the opportunity to consider alternative arrangements should these be necessary.
I will write again closer to the time when I know a little more.
Head of Nursery