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Strike question

(42 Posts)
rebl Fri 24-Jun-11 19:15:09

My understanding was that striking teachers classes couldn't be covered by supply teachers or other teachers in the school or TA's.

Is that correct? What, in reality would happen if this was done? As a parent should I care that this is what it seems is going to happen? The letter clearly says that all children will be taught that day by other staff. The normal TA's will be in school.

meditrina Fri 24-Jun-11 19:16:46

They might have drafted in HT and SMT?

whomovedmychocolate Fri 24-Jun-11 19:17:12

I've been told that a lot of primary schools are unaffected because it's more the secondaries. However ours are closing.

I don't think they can open if staffing falls below minimum levels.

clam Fri 24-Jun-11 19:18:02

Interesting. My understanding was same as yours: they can't. But would be interested to know how they're planning it. And if it's legal.

Elibean Fri 24-Jun-11 19:20:28

Our Head took legal advice on this (he would have liked to keep classes covered, only 2 teachers are in striking unions at our school). They can't cover classes where the teacher is on strike action: those classes have to be closed.

At least, thats how I understood his letter.

rebl Fri 24-Jun-11 19:23:55

OK, so say I turn up on Thursday to drop dd of and discover class is being covered by the normal TA with no teacher or with a supply teacher. Do I leave my dd or not? Are the school even insured in this situation? HT is not normally at school on Thursday and just because its a strike day doesn't mean she'll be there, she'll be at the other school she's ht at, like any other Thursday.

rebl Fri 24-Jun-11 19:25:17

Normal TA is HLTA is that makes any difference.

SATsEnough Fri 24-Jun-11 23:39:28

Personally, as I fully support the striking teachers I would be extremely unhappy about leaving my DC in a class where the striking teacher is being covered. I would make this point and then take DC home.

MrsShrekTheThird Fri 24-Jun-11 23:45:46

rebl, yes correct that we can't cover. TA's can only cover sessions in their normal timetable, so where a class teacher would be on PPA then that can be covered by the usual member of staff who does it.
Lots of our TA's are out on Thurs as well as I gather UNISON have voted to strike in support.
The classes whose teachers are striking are off, the classes whose teachers are in, can go in. Our LA advice is that the school can't close to all children as they reckon it's illegal.

Ihavenoclue Sat 25-Jun-11 00:41:59

We have closed 3 classes. The other classes will operate as usual. We were also informed no one could cover the lessons.

Feenie Sat 25-Jun-11 08:26:52

MrsShrek, UNISON aren't striking in support - but they do advise their members not to cover on 30th.

Mum2be79 Sat 25-Jun-11 08:59:00

3 of our 12 classes are closed. Normal day for the rest of us. My fellow Y1 teacher is striking but I am not. It's my PPA that afternoon so I get mine but she cannot arrange another time for hers.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 25-Jun-11 10:54:46

So basically, for parents you won't know till the day and can't plan anything hmm

Yeah, that's going to lead to high support for the cause.

mungogerry Sat 25-Jun-11 11:22:40


Our whole school has closed. Some teachers will be in, and will do admin.

Jaspants Sat 25-Jun-11 11:25:35

Two teachers striking at our school, they have asked children in those classes not to come in.

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 25-Jun-11 11:29:53

rebl, it depends how you feel about it. As I support the strike I wouldnt let my child be taught by a colleague covering the class. Also if all the SMT are being employed as cover, is that really a safe situation? if something crops up in the school that needs a SMT member to deal with it what happens at that point?

Elibean Sat 25-Jun-11 11:34:25

As I understood it, colleagues covering a class is a legal no-no.

Our Head wanted to cover dd's class, but took advice, and can't. Ditto another class. Hence those two classes closed, others open.

Parents in most schools seem to have some advance notice.

rebl Sat 25-Jun-11 13:11:41

What is SMT? Is it a union that isn't striking?

I support the teachers. I also need to know my dd will be safe at school that day. I wouldn't be happy if there were none of the normal teachers in at all and all classes were being covered by supply teachers who don't know the school which is potentially what is happening.

I'll try and find out before Thursday exactly what is going to happen.

mrz Sat 25-Jun-11 13:23:52

Senior Management Team

blackeyedsusan Sat 25-Jun-11 18:38:01

we have had a letter that school will be open as normal, though it is implying that classes are being covered. I suppose it could be the head teaching.

mrz Sat 25-Jun-11 18:41:27

The NAHT has advised head teachers they should not cover classes

meditrina Sat 25-Jun-11 18:57:48

Extract from NAHT FAQs for strike day:

"The covering of classes falls within the management decision of the head teacher and will form part of the risk assessment. Industrial action by its nature is disruptive and the NAHT would advise that members, when undertaking the risk assessment, will need to consider whether the head teacher needs to be free to cope with all the issues that may occur as a result of the strike action.  These could be such issues as the impact of picket lines and staff not reporting for duty through illness or emergency child care, for example.  In such circumstances, it may well be felt that the school community will be better served if head teachers WERE NOT teaching a class on the day."

There is sufficient leeway in that guidance for individual heads to make the best decisions about whether to cover classes, depending on the circumstances of the school. So it might happen, even though the wider tone of the NAHT guidance is not to do so.

EvilTwins Sat 25-Jun-11 19:01:49

Teachers who are not striking are not supposed to cover for staff who are. HTs know this. However, some HTs might not care. The HT at my niece's school is a dragon, and staff dare not stand up to her.

I have been told that my DC's school will be "unaffected" by the strike. We have been given no further information.

mrz Sat 25-Jun-11 22:33:32

I've just read the letter Michael Gove sent to all heads on Thursday

There are a number of ways in which you should, with our help, support schools to stay open. You should do everything possible:

To be flexible:
Changes can be made to the structure of the school day; opening/closing times can be altered and half day sessions can be run with different groups of pupils;

To be pragmatic:
There is no statutory requirement to teach the National Curriculum every day of the school year

mrz Sat 25-Jun-11 22:35:08

I'm sure parents would find the half day sessions useful especially if they have children in different classes one in mornings one in afternoons grin

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