Parents to receive letters as teachers in Hartlepool get set to strike


PARENTS are set to receive letters from schools over planned strike action by teachers later this month.

Mums, dads and carers in Hartlepool are being forced to make childcare arrangements or take days off work when school teachers take industrial action on March 26.

Several town schools have already sent out letters to parents warning them of the strike, which is part of a National Union of Teachers (NUT) ongoing dispute with the Government over pay, pensions, jobs and workload.

Greatham Church of England Primary School, in Greatham Village, Hartlepool, is one of the schools that will be closing for the day and has notified parents.

A spokesman for Hartlepool Council said it does not have a list of the affected schools as the decision over industrial action is down to the individual headteachers and boards of governors.

But he said the local authority will be ensuring that news of any disruption is passed onto parents so arrangements can be made.

He said: “We are aware of the strike by the NUT.

“Any decisions as to whether individual schools close, partly close or remain open are taken by the governing body and headteacher.

“With any strike action, the council would always do everything possible to support schools to minimise the impact on children.”

He added: “We will also assist schools to ensure that any disruption is clearly communicated to parents.”

Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, said: “The NUT announced national strike action in England and Wales on March 26 as a result of the Education Secretary’s refusal to meet to discuss the matters over which are in dispute; pay, pensions, jobs and workload.

“The NUT has made clear that strike action can be stopped if the Secretary of State addresses teachers’ concerns and engages in serious dialogue with the NUT on the matters of our dispute.”

She added: “Two in five teachers are leaving the profession within five years due to intolerable workload pressures, performance related pay, increased pensions contributions and working until 68.

“Our concerns have to be addressed if a crisis in teacher supply is to be avoided.

“The NUT believe that action by teacher unions is the best way to defend teachers and the education service.”