Dorset schools to close in teacher strikes today
SCHOOLS across Dorset are closed today as part of regional strike action by teachers.
School including The Blandford School, The Thomas Hardye School and Shaftesbury School will close their doors to pupils.
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) are urging teachers to walk out today over pay and pensions.
Headteacher at Shaftesbury School Mark Blackman said: “Given the number of members of those two unions within the school who will be taking action, it will not be possible to effectively operate the school on that day in a manner which will provide adequate supervision for students to ensure their well-being whilst at school.
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“In this rural area, it would clearly not be sensible to allow students to only attend unaffected lessons and then leave the site. Accordingly, the school will be closed to all students on 17th October 2013 for the whole of the school day.
“We must all hope that the issues over which the industrial action has arisen are resolved as soon as possible.”
Dorset County Council don’t know the extent of how many schools will be closing –as school are not obliged to tell the council.
A spokesperson for Dorset County Council said: “The final decision as to whether a school remains open, closed or partially closed lies with the headteacher and the chair of governors.
“School transport should run as normal where schools are open, and with modified services in areas affected by a school closure.”
his month’s strike action is being organised in protest over Education Secretary Michael Gove’s reforms bringing a longer school day and year and teachers working longer for pensions.
A spokesperson for the NUT said: “Teachers are deeply concerned about the impact these imposed changes are having on the morale of the teaching profession, the recruitment and retention of teachers and on the provision of quality education for pupils.
“The NUT and the NASUWT are still asking the Government to enter into genuine talks to resolve this dispute.”