Industrial action: Thursday 27th April and Tuesday 2nd May
Information about the strike days...
These have been troubling times for education. Following the difficult years of the pandemic students’ attendance across the country has dipped significantly, presentation of mental health and related concerns has increased and, of course, students’ learning has also been affected.
In the context of this further interruption to education, now through industrial action, is less than helpful. There are a number of things that I can share with parents to give a fuller context to the situation that may help it make more sense.
- Firstly, no teacher at Greenshaw (and I would imagine across the country) takes industrial action lightly. People do not come into teaching without care and commitment to young people and, of course, they give up a day’s pay each time they strike. Striking is not an easy decision to make.
- The number of trainees entering the profession is going down. The National Foundation for Educational has estimated that in secondary training there may be as many as 42% of places unfilled (source here, Times Educational Supplement). In each of the last three years the numbers of training places filled have been below the government’s own set target.
- The number of people leaving the profession is going up. Department for Education figures suggest over 36,000 teachers have left the job within five years of training (source here, Schools Week).
In summary, fewer people are entering teaching while, at the same time, more are leaving. This makes recruitment for teachers at Greenshaw, and all schools, increasingly difficult.
The current industrial action is definitely about teacher’s present rates of pay, which has seen approximately a 20% real terms cut over the last decade. But it is also about making a case for restoring pay in the profession going forwards, ensuring that it is an attractive sector to work in and one that attracts the best graduates possible.
This term, the teachers that are members of the National Education Union have agreed to protect the education of those two year groups (Years 11 and 13) coming up to public examinations. So while we do not have the staffing on site to teach all year groups, nor to safely supervise all year groups, we are able to offer these ‘prioritised’ classes full lessons. This is more than we have been able to offer on the previous strike days. Details of this are below.
Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12
Students should not attend school.
Years 11 and 13
All students should attend school on both dates and arrive at 8.30am.
Lessons will occur in all subjects, allowing students to continue to prepare for their GCSE and A Level lessons.
I continue to hope there is an improved offer, maybe similar to that made to teachers in Wales and Scotland, to see this dispute settled. There is currently no provision for further industrial action over the coming weeks, so I hope that life can return closer to normal.
Thank you for your continued support.
Nick House, Headteacher