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Thursday, 28 August 2014

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North Cumbrian schools braced for strike action by teachers

Schools are braced for more disruption next week as teachers strike in a row over changes to pensions, pay and working conditions.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT), which has 3,000 members in Cumbria, is taking action on Wednesday.

And although the full impact of disruption will not be clear until the day, there will be at least partial closure at a string of north Cumbrian schools.

Newman School in Carlisle will be closed to years eight, nine and 10, with other pupils asked to attend as normal.

Trinity School will be closed to pupils in years seven, eight, nine and 10.

Beacon Hill School in Aspatria will operate as normal but has said some classes may be “supervised”.

Solway Technology Community College in Silloth is remaining open as normal, with one member of staff taking action.

Nelson Thomlinson School in Wigton will close for years seven to nine.

And William Howard School in Brampton will be closed to all pupils except those in years 12 and 13.

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith will be closed to years seven, eight, nine and 10.

Alan Rutter, secretary of the NUT’s Cumbrian division called on parents to get behind the strikers.

He challenged the perception of teachers going on strike on a regular basis, adding: “I have been in teaching for 40 years and have had more days off for royal events than for striking.”

He added that it is possible the union could still call the strike off following negotiations.

Cumbria County Council’s website has a school closures web page with details on how the strike action will affect primaries and secondaries.

A spokesman for the authority said: “We have contacted schools to inform them that the decision to close, or partially close, due to industrial action should be taken based on the headteacher’s judgement as to whether the school can operate safely and effectively.

“Schools have also been advised to give parents as much advance notice as possible and to report closures to the council via our online emergency closure notification system.”

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