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Important Information Regarding the National Teachers Strike at HCCS

Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School announced it will close to students and move to on-line learning on Wednesday 1st February 2023 in response to the national teachers strike.

Following a ballot of its members, the NEU, one of the largest teaching unions, has published an initial series of dates for teachers to take strike action. The strikes are happening because of a national dispute between the Teaching Unions and the Government over pay and not because of any issues at our school.

To set some local context, we understand that around half of our teachers are members of the union that are taking strike action and although we believe some of those staff may well choose to come to work, this will significantly impact on the number of students that we would be able to safely supervise. We will not know which teachers are going to take part in the strike until 8:40 am on the day of the strike. Our plans are also impacted on the day by the way other unions have instructed their members to work in terms of an inflexibility of providing cover for classes normally undertaken by teachers who are on strike.

The safety of our students is of paramount importance and given the potential level of disruption likely to occur, we will not be in a position to welcome students into school as we would have wished to do so. With this in mind, the senior leadership team have taken the view that we will revert to online learning for the day. Just to be clear, this means that we will arrange for all students to have the opportunity to access their normal timetable of lessons from home. The exception will be lessons that would normally be delivered by a member of staff who is taking strike action. Further details and information for students regarding their access to learning will be published early next week.

We understand completely how difficult it can be for families to make alternative arrangements when schools are closed and apologise for the inconvenience this will cause. Given that this is a national rather than a local dispute, there is little we can do to influence the actions that are being taken by the trade unions. With this in mind, moving to online learning for the day gives us the best chance of keeping as many students as possible engaged in their learning.

The NEU has issued a series of strike days that will impact our school. We are most likely to take the same action in response to each of the current dates that have been proposed. We will of course keep this under review and will keep you informed as the weeks progress. For information, the first published dates for strike action that affect our school are:

  • Wednesday 1st February – First national day of strike action

  • Tuesday 28th February – Regional strike action

  • Wednesday 15th March – Second national day of strike action

  • Thursday 16th March – Third national day of strike action

If you have any questions or concerns please contact in the first instance and we will endeavour to respond as quickly as we can

Nigel Bielby

Executive Headteacher


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