Education risk for children as teachers across Herts get ready to go on strike

Striking teachers could cause disruption to schools across Herts on Tuesday, education chiefs have warned.

The action will be part of a rolling programme of regional strikes by the UK’s two largest teaching unions, the NUT and NASUWT.

They are protesting about changes to their national pay structures, pensions, working conditions, the two-year salary freeze and lack of dialogue with the government about their concerns.

Tuesday’s strike will cover the Eastern, Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside regions.

Herts County Council’s cabinet member for enterprise, education and skills Chris Hayward said there are strongly held feelings on both sides of the national dispute.

But he said: “Strike action in a key public service like this can only be to the detriment of Hertfordshire’s children and their parents.

“We hope that there is a speedy resolution to this dispute in the interests of all concerned.

“The decision to stay open or to close is for individual school headteachers and governors to make.

“We have urged as many schools as possible to remain open as long as it is safe to do so.

“But we do not have any authority to compel them to stay open, whether they are community schools, free schools or academies.”

He said schools have been advised to tell parents and carers as soon as possible if they do have to stay closed on Tuesday.

Three classes in Grove Road Primary School, Tring, will close for the entire day while teachers strike. Two other classes will be without a teacher until 12.15pm.

A letter to parents by headteacher Sharon Sanderson and chairman of governors Julian Crane says that teachers were not obliged to tell them in advance about strike action.

The letter says: “We are grateful to those involved for declaring their decision early, so that we can give you as much notice as possible to make alternative arrangements.

“We appreciate that this will be difficult for some parents and can only stress that strike action is never taken lightly and we hope you understand the complexity of the situation.”

Herts County Council’s director of education Justin Donovan said the best way for parents to find out about closures is to contact their children’s school directly.

A list of schools that the council knows will be closed on Tuesday can be found here

The dates of impending strike action and contact details for the county’s schools can be found here