Dear Parents and Carers
As you may be aware from recent media coverage, one of the main teaching unions, the National Education Union (NEU), has announced an intention to strike. A number of planned strike dates have been published, four of which are applicable to staff and students at Lady Manners School:
- Wednesday 01 February 2023 (national action)
- Wednesday 01 March 2023 (regional action)
- Wednesday 15 March 2023 (national action)
- Thursday 16 March 2023 (national action)
The NEU is by far the largest teaching union at Lady Manners School and a strike by this union could potentially have a significant and disruptive impact on the normal running of our school on these days.
This action is not against the school itself but is part of national industrial action. There is no requirement on unions to inform me which members of staff intend to take action, and it may be that the unions will not know themselves as there is no obligation on their members to act upon a strike call. Furthermore, teachers who attend school cannot be directed to undertake the work of colleagues taking strike action.
In the event of strike action, the Department of Education expects all headteachers to take reasonable steps to keep the school open for as many students as possible, and this is my natural instinct. However, this may not always be possible due to concerns regarding the capacity to provide adequate levels of supervision. The amount of available information in ensuring that staff and students are not exposed to risks to their health and safety is a key consideration.
Although discussions are ongoing at government level in an attempt to avert strike action, I wanted to notify of you of the potential strike dates well in advance of the first planned day of action.
I will be working with my senior team to discuss contingency plans for minimising the impact of any action, and a number of options are being considered. Where attendance must be restricted due to safety concerns, remote education will be made available through either live lessons or via work set on ClassCharts.
I will continue to work closely with our staff union representatives throughout this period and will provide further information when final arrangements are confirmed.