Parents warned to plan for childcare and remote learning on teachers’ strike days

Photo of a teacher with a small group of children in a classroom.
Stock image. Credit: 14995841 from Pixabay.

Parents and carers of children attending schools in Bradley Stoke have been given “advance notice” that many of the educational establishments are likely to only be able to provide a “very limited service” on the days of several planned teachers’ strikes in February and March.

In a letter sent to parents yesterday (24th January 2023), the Olympus Academy Trust explains that over 50 percent of its teachers are members of the National Education Union (NEU), the union which has declared the strike action.

In a ballot, 90 percent of teachers in England belonging to the NEU supported strike action, on a turnout of 53 percent.

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The strikes are set to take place on the following dates (in each case for the whole day):

  • Wednesday 1st February 2023
  • Thursday 2nd March 2023
  • Wednesday 15th March 2023
  • Thursday 16th March 2023

In the letter, Olympus CEO Dave Baker says:

“The strikes are happening because of a national dispute between the unions and the government over teachers’ pay and conditions and not because of any issues particular to our Trust or schools as Olympus offers pay and conditions in line with national expectations.”

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Mr Baker goes on to say:

“The union is not obliged to tell us how many of their members intend to withdraw their services. Consequently, there will be very significant disruption if the strikes go ahead and this will prevent us from maintaining full provision for learners, not least because we will not know exact numbers of staff involved until the strike days start. Our priority will be to keep all schools open on the strike days but with reduced provision.”

“In all likelihood, our schools will only be able to provide a very limited service on any days when there are strikes. We are sorry about the disruption to children’s education and for the inconvenience it will cause you if they are unable to be in school.”

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The letter goes on to advise parents to assume that there will be “very few children in school” on days when there are strikes and to “plan contingencies for the strike days for childcare and remote learning, which is unlikely to involve live teaching due to capacity”.

Each school will be in touch with families as soon as they have sufficient detail to commit to a plan for the first planned strike day, Wednesday 1st February. The impact will differ from school to school according to the number of NEU members on the teaching staff.

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Olympus Trust schools

Within Bradley Stoke:

  • Bradley Stoke Community School
  • Meadowbrook Primary School

Further afield:

  • Stoke Lodge Primary School
  • Patchway Community School
  • Callicroft Primary School
  • Abbeywood Community School
  • Filton Hill Primary School
  • Charborough Road Primary School
  • Winterbourne Academy

Other local schools affected by the strikes are expected to issue their own advice in the coming days.

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