Schools face closure over teachers' strike
LOCAL secondary schools are braced for industrial action by teachers next week.
King Arthur's Community School in Wincanton will be closed as a result of a regional strike on Thursday, October 17.
Head teacher Chris Beech sent a letter to parents on Monday advising the school will not open to students as teachers from the UK's two biggest unions take action over pay, pensions and working conditions.
Mr Beech said: "After discussions with the two union reps at school it is clear that some staff will definitely be on strike and others are still considering this. However, the numbers involved mean that I cannot guarantee to open the school and supervise students safely. As such, King Arthur's will be closed to students.
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"A letter has gone to parents to this effect."
He added: "We recognise that staff feel very passionately about changes to conditions for teachers taking place. However, closing the school is in no way an endorsement of the strike and in the event of prolonged action we would be doing everything possible to secure the progress of our children with our first thoughts going towards those sitting examinations.
"There are many staff at King Arthur's who are not involved in the strike who will be working on other aspects of their duties throughout the day."
Ansford Academy in Castle Cary also confirmed it will be closed due to the industrial action.
A spokeswoman for Gillingham School said it was anticipated that teachers will go on strike and the school will be closed, but a final decision would be made nearer the time.
Bruton's Sexey's School will remain open. A spokeswoman did not say if teachers would be on strike but said the school would be "running as normal".
The Government's education minister David Laws said: "Strikes could cause a lot of disruption for parents and keep children away from the classroom, something nobody wants.
He said the Government is working on a fairer pay system, allowing schools to pay good teachers more, and an "affordable pensions system.