Calderdale schools close as teachers go on strike

NUT teachers strike at Sowerby Bridge High School
NUT teachers strike at Sowerby Bridge High School

Calderdale schools have been forced to close as teachers join their colleagues across England to stage a one-day national strike over funding and conditions.

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) have walked out after voting by more than nine-to-one in favour of industrial action.

The union said its demands were to increase funding to schools and education, guarantee terms and conditions in all types of schools, and to resume negotiations on teacher contracts to allow workload to be addressed.

Calderdale NUT branch secretary James Wilson said: “This strike action is to protect education funding as well as our working conditions, which are children’s learning conditions.

“Although the Government claims that the education budget is protected, this is not the case on the ground.

“Many schools in Calderdale are making redundancies, both of support staff and teaching staff.

“These changes will have a direct impact on Calderdale children’s learning, which will continue to get worse unless the Government changes their stance on education.

“Their recent white paper, even taking into account their slight “u-turn” on forced academies, show that they have completely the wrong priorities. They are not addressing the high rate of teachers choosing to leave the profession, the school place crisis or the cuts to school budgets, which will have a wholly negative effect on the education of Calderdale’s young people.

“Teachers as a rule are reluctant to take strike action, as they would prefer to be in their classrooms, doing the job they love and enabling the young people of the future.

“However, we feel that we are left with no choice and call upon the community to support us by letting our elected representatives know the strength of feeling there is for providing a high quality education for all children in Calderdale.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “It is disappointing the National Union of Teachers has chosen to take unnecessary and damaging strike action, which less than a quarter of its members voted for.

“It is even more disappointing when we have offered and committed to formal talks between ministers and the unions to address their concerns about pay.

“Industrial action causes disruption to children’s education and parents who have to take time out of work to arrange childcare.

“We urge the NUT not to proceed with this strike and to resolve pay disputes at the negotiating table rather than playing politics with children’s futures.”

The schools affected by the strike include:

Moorside Community Primary School - NUT Strike Action School will be closed to all pupils.

Parkinson Lane Community Primary School

Bradshaw Primary School - Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 will be closed for the day. (Pre-school, Reception, Year 1 and 2 are open as normal).

Lee Mount Primary School

Savile Park Primary School - Classes 3,4,5 and 6 are closed. The rest of the school on both sites remains open.

Midgley School - Classes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed to pupils. Class 4 will be attending their planned trip to Filey as arranged.

Castle Hill Primary School

Riverside Junior School NUT Strike Strike affected classes out for the whole day - 3G and 4M. Year 6 will be released at 12.05pm Other classes remain unaffected.

The Crossley Heath School

Brighouse High School will be closed to pupils in year 7, 8, 9 and 10

Lightcliffe Academy - Partially closed