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Can a school still open if the majority are on strike?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by khaczycki, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. As a school of seven teachers, four of us are striking on June 30th. One member is NASWT and is off sick anyway, but two members one from each of NUT and ATL have opted not to strike because due to financial reasons. The acting head, has decided to close the classes whose teachers are on strike and remain open for the two classes. My thought was that if the majority go out on strike then everyone should go or at least the whole school closes? Don't want to cause trouble at school as each to their own opinion and choices, but how do we get our case heard with management who dont support the cause?!?!
  2. I thought the rules were that any classes with teachers not on strike had to remain open. Legally how would they deal with it otherwise? You would obviously have to lose a day's pay as not being available to work. I would have thought some members of staff may not like that.
    I don't think a school can close just because some staff are on strike.
  3. It's their choice not to strike. You've made yours. I presume you'll be at the school gates all day with your placard.
  4. frymeariver

    frymeariver New commenter

    Unless your headteacher is in NUT or ATL they cannot act "in sympathy" of the action as this would potentially be illegal. This is no different to the NASUWT member being unable to strike.
    The decision to close or partially close a school has to be made using an objective risk assessment of the safety issues etc. In a primary it makes sense, if the children will spend all day with one teacher, to only close for those classes whose teachers are unavailable for work and allow those classes that can run to do so. Their teachers are not on strike so there's no justification for them being unable to attend school.
    I work in a secondary and we have had to shut as we have more teachers off than classes to cover in any one period, so could potentially have a lesson where all students are unsupervised. SLT could supervise classes as we have "a duty of care" (according to the ASCL advice) but it could have been over 100 students each so we decided that was not safe. Nor was the possibility that if there was an emergeny evacuation we could have had a situation where we would not know if there was a child missing for three or four times as long as normal.
    The point is that the closure, or partial closure, of the school is based on the potential risk to the safety of students not the headteacher's belief in the cause.
  5. san38

    san38 New commenter

    We have 3 out of 60 teachers stiking and we're shut! Not sure how that works!
  6. Yes I will. We have made the decision to picket as there are no rallies/marches nearby.

    Thanks for the feedback everybody,just wondered what others think.and schools are doing as we are a new management team without ever having been responsible for schoolclosure.

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