100 West Midlands schools to close as teachers strike
More than 100 primary and secondary schools across the West Midlands are expected to be severely disrupted on Wednesday as they close or partially shut when teachers stage a national walkout.
Dozens of schools across the Black Country, Staffordshire and Wyre Forest areas face disruption when the National Union of Teachers stages its one-day strike over pay and conditions.
Head teachers have admitted that the action would make it difficult for many schools to stay open.
Although few councils in the West Midlands are yet to provide full lists of closures, individual schools are informing parents via letter or by their websites.
Among those that will be closed on the day is Dormston School in Sedgley.
A letter sent to parents by head Ben Stitchman said: "The large number of teachers in the NUT at Dormston means that, regretfully, I am not in a position to be able to guarantee the safety of the children and am therefore closing the school."
Holly Lodge Science College in Smethwick, will also be shut on Wednesday.
Head teacher Ahson Mohammed (CORR) wrote on the school's website: "This is not a dispute with the school but national policies related to pensions and conditions."
Councils are warning parents to check their websites to find out whether their child's schools are open or closed.
Some schools including St Edmund's Catholic Academy in Wolverhampton will be partially open.
The NUT has been embroiled in its current dispute with the Government over pay, pensions and working conditions for over two years, and staged a series of regional strikes with the NASUWT teaching union last year. Between them they represent the vast majority of teachers.
A proposed one-day national walkout in November by the two unions was called off and the NASUWT has decided not to take part in the latest walkout.
Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said it would be difficult for schools to stay open next week if high numbers of their staff were NUT members.
"I don't know the level of support that there will be for the strike. It's quite difficult to gauge that. I think the issue there is that if it's the NUT going on strike, in most schools there will be a fairly large number of members, and it will be difficult for the school to stay open if they've got a very large number of members striking."
A spokesperson for the Department for Education said: "Parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the Government's measures to let heads pay good teachers more.
"They called for talks to avoid industrial action, we agreed to their request, and talks have been taking place weekly.
"Despite this constructive engagement with their concerns, the NUT is taking action that will disrupt parents' lives, hold back children's education and damage the reputation of the profession."
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