A number of schools in the Uckfield area will be closed today (Thursday, October 17) as teachers go on strike.
Uckfield Community College will be closed for years 7 to 11 but open as usual for sixth formers.
Other schools in the Uckfield area affected by the strike include:
- Blackboys Church of England School. Classes 1 and 3 are closed to pupils. Classes 2 and 4 are open as normal.
- St Philip’s Catholic Primary School, Uckfield, will be closed.
- Nutley Church of England Primary School. Beech class is closed to pupils. All other classes are open as usual.
- Buxted Church of England Primary School will be closed.
- Framfield Church of England Primary School Key Stage 1 classes (Peacocks and Kingfishers) will be closed.
- Maresfield Bonners Church of England Primary School will be partially closed. Classes 1, 3 and 4, will be closed all day. Class two will be open from 1pm and Class 5 will be open all day.
- Manor Primary School is partially closed. Classes closed: Foundation Stage, 1E, 3W, 30L, 5AW.
Hugh Hennebry, the principal of the community college, told parents the strike was by members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT).
He said the action was not against the Uckfield college itself but was part of national industrial action over changes to teachers’ terms and conditions of employment.
School buses will run
Mr Hennebry said he and the chair of governors assessed whether there would be sufficient staff to maintain teaching and learning and ensure adequate supervision at break, lunchtime and if a lesson was cancelled without compromising the safety of students.
“There are a number of teachers who will be in college as usual, however there are not enough to supervise students at a staff-student ratio that would be considered safe,” he said.
School buses will run as normal to allow sixth formers to travel in. They should go to their lesson and if it is not running either due to industrial action, illness or staff training they should do what they normally do, which is to do independent study in that subject.
Mr Hennebry said: “I ask sixth form students to respect an individual teacher’s privacy and not to ask in advance whether their teacher is on strike or not.
“At present about half of our teachers have indicated that they will probably take industrial action on Thursday and so there will be lessons running.
“I appreciate that some sixth formers, due to chance, may well have more than 50 per cent of their lessons cancelled on Thursday and suggest they still make the most of the day’s opportunity to study hard and get lots of work done in college.”
Impact on students and parents/carers
Mr Hennebry said he recognised the strike will impact on students and parents/carers.
“If numbers are not too large we may be able to supervise some students from Years 7 to 11 in the Learning Resource Centre. If you have particular problems with childcare of a UCTC student, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know if you would like to have your child in Year 7 to 11 supervised and from what starting time to what finishing time.
“The deadline for these requests is by 3.30pm on Tuesday (October 15). Once we have numbers of those who would like supervision we will then be able to work out whether we can put on this offer or not,” he said.
The college and schools will open again as normal on Friday.