As we mentioned at the time of the previous industrial action day on February 1st, teaching members of the National Education Union (NEU) have voted for several days of strike action with their second scheduled day of action to be on Thursday 2nd March 2023. The remaining two will be Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th March 2023, if a settlement continues not to be reached between the Government and the NEU. We understand in school that the dispute is with the Government, and not with the school; we endeavour to respect colleagues’ right to strike, whilst we are also very mindful of the disruption for you all, and our children over and above all.
As a school, and as before, we are obviously required to assess whether we can safely open if a number of colleagues are not present. As we stated before, approximately 53% of our teaching staff are in the NEU and have been asked to observe this action by their union, and this was, indeed, borne out by the approximate number who took the strike action on the previous occasion. Colleagues continue not to be required by law to give pre-warning of their decision to strike, so we cannot find out more accurately than this whether or not this figure will be replicated on this occasion, but it seems likely.
Given this level of potential absence, we have risk assessed according to all usual processes for doing so and concluded that we are unable to safely cover the site and normal lessons with that number of staff out. We have therefore made a series of plans for each of the industrial action days to provide an educational plan that will work and be safe, but that will also provide some variety of experience for as many students as possible across the three possible further dates concerned. A detailed plan follows for Thursday 2nd March and an outline plan for 15th and 16th March, with details to come nearer the time.
Thursday 2nd March:
On this date, the site will be open to vulnerable children, and then those who you identify to us, as you have done before, who cannot be at home. Our pastoral team will be contacting you if we would like to encourage your child to be in school because of the level of support they will need to access lessons online. You can inform us of the need for your child to be with us, if there is no safe alternative, via our online form (click here).
All Year 11 students are also expected to be in to complete their mock examinations (which run from 9am until around 1pm). This also includes Year 10 early entry mathematicians, who need to arrive for their mock at 9am. Once examinations are complete, the students will be able to go home (and they will have the opportunity to get food during the extended break between the two exams).
Finally, some students who train in gymnastics with Mrs Smith will be invited in for the day in order to make use of this time to practice for their competition. These students have already been contacted about this.
All other students will receive their learning remotely on that day. All staff at work will be delivering live lessons from school via Teams, including all of us on the Leadership Team, as we did on the previous occasion.
We will publish to you all the timetable for the day as we did before … but for now, a heads up that lessons online are going to run 9.30am - 1.40pm, which will include five lessons (each 40 minutes in length) and a break. We aim to follow the normal scheduled timetable for students as much as we possibly can.
We have opted for a start time of 9.30am this time, as the logistics were tight between colleagues signing in for the day – the only way we can officially confirm attendance - and starting the lives at 9am last time.
Students who are in receipt of FSM can have a packed lunch prepared for collection. If you require this, please email us at email@example.com and we'll make arrangements for you.
Wednesday March 15th and Thursday March 16th:
Should these industrial action days go ahead, we will do the following:
Invite Year 11 to attend school from approximately 9.30am-1.40pm on both occasions. They will receive their normal lessons, and during any lessons where their teacher is striking, we will provide a combination of ‘Walking Talking mocks’ and other useful assessment practice / revision opportunities.
Invite Year 7 to attend school from 9.30am – 1.40pm on both occasions. They will receive their normal lessons, and during any lessons where their teacher is striking we will provide a menu of Citizenship curriculum content and literacy/reading based activities for them.
There will be one scheduled break for these year groups during this time.
Invite Y8/9/10 to attend live lessons remotely at home, with vulnerable children and those you identify to us as unable to work from home being welcomed in school. Year 8s in this position will join the Y7 programme for the day. Y9 and 10 students who come in will work on their live lessons in one of our IT suites as we have done on prior occasions.
Packed lunches for those eligible for FSM will be available on each occasion.
As stated at the beginning of the letter, if a settlement is reached, and the industrial action is no longer taking place, the school will revert to its normal pattern for the day on each occasion.
If anyone has any questions or suggestions about the plans above, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of us will be delighted to get back to you.
With our thanks again for your continued support around recent alterations to the usual run of things,
Kathryn Marshall and the Noadswood Leadership Team