The failure of last minute talks yesterday between the Government and the National Education Union (NEU) to try avert this week’s strike action over teachers’ pay means most pupils at one of our Ruddington schools won’t be in class tomorrow (Wednesday 1st February).
In a letter to parents and carers, Headteacher Hannah Cutts writes: “I’m sorry to inform you that James Peacock Infant and Nursery School will be closed on Wednesday 1st February 2023. Projected staff availability means we need to temporarily prioritise places, we have been asked to give priority to vulnerable children. We have not taken this decision lightly. We remain committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our pupils, and feel that we would be unable to provide this with the staff we have available.”
The letter goes on to apologise to those who have had to make alternative arrangements for their children at short notice, and the disruption they will experience to their education. “I understand that this situation may be frustrating, and ask that all members of our school community continue to treat each other with respect” says Mrs Cutts, adding: “The strike is happening because of a national dispute between the unions and the government over teachers’ pay, and not because of any issues at our school. We are working closely with our staff union representatives to keep up to date with the situation, and I will inform you as soon as possible if arrangements change further.”
Meantime, parents and carers whose children have been prioritised with a school place for Wednesday’s first strike day are being advised that there will be a NEU picket line at James Peacock School’s main entrance – and so are invited to use the nursery entrance, should they prefer.
There’s better news for parents and pupils at Ruddington’s St Peter’s C of E Junior School. Headteacher Michael Bradley advises: “Despite the major disruption many schools will be facing, I want to reassure parents that St Peter’s will be remaining fully open this Wednesday. Clear communication from our fantastic staff team has meant we have been able to plan ahead and ensure we are able to operate as we normally would on the day of the first strike.”
However, there may still be disruption ahead for either or both of our village schools – with further NEU walkouts currently scheduled for the 1st, 15th and 16th of March 2023.