Councils announce plans for schools to shut on strike days

Councils announce plans for schools to shut on strike days


Schools in many parts of Scotland have announced they will be closed as teachers go on strike next month over pay disputes.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) and NASUWT in primary schools will strike on January 10th, while those in secondary schools will strike on January 11th, along with members of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA).

Teachers have already turned down a deal whereby most classroom staff would receive a 5% pay rise, although the lowest paid teachers would receive a 6.85% pay rise.

Several councils, including Highland and Aberdeen City Council, have announced that schools in their areas will be closed, while Glasgow City Council said it was “probable” that this will be the case.

A Highland Council spokesman said: “Following notification of the strike action by the Educational Institute of Scotland, Highland Council has taken the decision to close all primary, early education and childcare facilities on 10 January 2023 and all secondary schools on 11 January 2023 close. to students across Highland on these dates.

“The safe care of children and young people is of paramount importance and as we anticipate significantly reduced management and teaching staff in schools, early childhood learning and care facilities, it has been decided to close all educational facilities serving pupils.

“It is hoped that a clear decision will allow parents and carers to plan ahead for the expected disruption.”

The council said a letter had been sent to all parents through usual school channels.

teachers are on strike
EIS members went on strike in November (Jane Barlow/PA)

A spokesman for Aberdeen City Council said: “Given the great uncertainty surrounding the number of teachers who will be available to teach, we have made the decision to close the city’s primary schools and Orchard Brae School on 10 January, as well as secondary schools close January 11th.

“Schools have written to parents and carers to inform them of arrangements.”

Glasgow City Council has yet to make a final decision but has told parents schools are “likely” to be closed, including on January 16, if EIS members are due to take further action.

In a letter to parents, Douglas Hutchison, the council’s executive director for education, said: “Unless there is change over the next few weeks our schools will likely be closed to pupils on the dates above as we have no way of knowing in advance , how many employees will report for work.

“In addition, various unions have coordinated their action this time so that it takes place on the same days.

“Our intention is that kindergarten classes and independent kindergartens will be opened as usual.

“I know that this uncertainty is far from ideal and will mean that you may have to make other arrangements again in the short term.

“I apologize once again for a situation that is beyond the control of the Council as wage negotiations are national. Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.”

Edinburgh City Council has not announced its plans but Moray Council has confirmed that all primary schools will be closed to pupils on Tuesday 10 January and all secondary schools on Wednesday 11 January.

The January strikes will come after SSTA and NASUWT members went on strike for two days earlier this month, while EIS members pulled out on November 24th.

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said this week: “We remain committed to a fair, sustainable settlement for Scotland’s teachers and will continue to work constructively with teachers’ unions and Cosla.

“It is very disappointing that teachers’ unions have rejected the latest offer – the fourth of which has been made to unions – which mirrors the deal accepted by other local government employees.

“The demand for a 10% increase from teachers’ unions as a whole in Scotland is unaffordable within the budget set by the Scottish Government.”

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