PARENTS are facing chaos today (Thursday, July 10) as schools across the region are due to close because of teacher strike action.
Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) are due to hold a one-day walk out in an ongoing dispute with the government over performance-related pay and pensions.
The NUT action has been timed to coincide with the strike action proposed by UNISON, UNITE and GMB meaning schools may not have enough staff to remain open.
South Gloucestershire Council has also warned some libraries in the district may be affected by the industrial action.
The NUT said the date had been chosen to cause ‘minimal disruption to examinations’ which are taking place in secondary schools and sixth forms this month.
Many secondary schools are remaining open for A-level students but will close to lower school pupils in South Gloucestershire.
Yate and Winterbourne international academies will be closed to all pupils except Year 12 students today.
Woodlands Primary School, which is attached to the Yate academy, will also shut. The academy nursery will remain open.
Brimsham Green School in Yate is closing to students in Years 7, 8 and 9 but normal lessons will proceed for students in Years 10 and above.
Head teacher Kim Garland said: “Due to the percentage of teaching staff at Brimsham Green who belong to the NUT, and taking into account the membership of UNISON, UNITE and GMB, the chairman of governors and I have concluded that we are unable to remain fully open since we cannot guarantee the health, safety and well-being of all our students on this day.
“School closure is never a decision we take lightly and we apologise for the inconvenience this will cause.”
Chipping Sodbury School will remain fully open.
Castle School in Thornbury will be closed to all students except those in Year 12 who should attend as normal, although there may be some disruption to regular lessons.
The school’s production Amazing American Adventure will take place as scheduled at 7pm in the main hall.
Acting head teacher Peter Smart said: “I appreciate that this closure causes inconvenience for parents and carers and regret this disruption.
I don’t know how many teaching and support staff will be absent on the day and therefore cannot guarantee sufficient levels of supervision for Years 7-10 on this day.”
Marlwood School in Thornbury is not affected by the action and its music festival, featuring The Wurzels, will go ahead.
Christine Blower, NUT general secretary, said the action was a ‘last resort’ but added: “For teachers, performance related pay, working until 68 for a full pension and heavy workload for 60 hours a week, is unsustainable."
In the south of the Stroud district, Rednock School in Dursley is expected to be affected by the strikes, with all year eight and nine pupils being told they do not have to go to school that day.
All other years will see classes running as normal.
The Castle School in Wotton-under-Edge will classes two and four close and Kingswood Primary School's reception class will also not run.
Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School, along with all other primary schools in the south of the district have reported they will open and operate as normal.
The Government, which has been in talks with the unions, said there was no justification for the strike.