Strike action set to close Axe Valley schools

PUBLISHED: 12:06 27 June 2011 | UPDATED: 12:50 27 June 2011

Axminster Primary School

Axminster Primary School

Archant

Axminster and Colyton primary schools will stay shut on Thursday as teachers take industrial action

AT LEAST two Axe Valley schools will be closed on Thursday (June 30) as teachers strike over government pension reforms.

Axminster and Colyton primary schools are amongst those so far affected by the industrial action.

Today local headteachers – members of the Axe Valley Learning Community (AVLC) - issued a statement outlining the issues they faced in deciding whether or not to close a school.

It reads: “Firstly, despite the fact that the Secretary of State has written to all schools expressing his view that ‘we all have a strong moral duty to pupils and parents’, a headteacher’s first concern must always be the safety and well-being of pupils and the maintenance of order and discipline.

“If there are insufficient teachers present to fulfil these duties, the head needs to carefully assess the risks and take a decision appropriate to the circumstances.

“Secondly, all heads will have made every effort to find out in advance those members of staff who intend to take industrial action, so that alternative arrangements can be made if necessary.

“However, union members have no obligation to declare their intention in advance and the fact that many have already done so, is a clear tribute to their professionalism.

“Headteachers are very well aware of the inconvenience which a school closure can cause. As always, however, the welfare of pupils will be paramount in each decision.”

A spokesman for Devon Education authority said further schools might have to close as a result of the industrial action. An updated list can be viewed on their website at http://www.devonschoolclosures.info/

But he stressed schools aren’t under any obligation to let the county council know if they have people striking. So the full extent of the action will only become apparent on the day.


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