Dear Parents / Carers,
You will no doubt be aware of the ballot of National Education Union members, returning a majority outcome for taking strike action in their dispute with the Secretary of State for Education over making appropriate funds available to allow a fully funded increase in teachers pay at the rate of inflation (as measured by September 2022 RPI).
The proposed dates for industrial action are:
Wednesday 1st February 2023
Thursday 2nd March 2023
Wednesday 15th March 2023
Thursday 16th March 2023
This industrial action does not affect all teaching staff, only those that are members of the NEU, as other teaching and leadership unions have not yet met the threshold of their members to agree to industrial action. This position may well change as the Unions look to try to engage with the Education Secretary.
Some members of the Whiteparish teaching staff, although not all, are members of the NEU union. At the time of writing this letter those who are members have indicated that they will not be engaging with strike action. This position may of course change and as their head teacher, I will offer them unequivocal support in which ever course of action they decide to take. I would ask you as a parent body, to also offer the teaching staff your full support. This is not a dispute with you or your children, in fact it is about valuing the work which the teaching staff do every single day to try and support your children along their educational journey. From the point of view of a school leader it is also about being able to secure funding which allows this work to be valued and to secure a level of provision moving forward which is deserved by all of the children in our care.
If the unions remain in dispute with the Secretary of State for Education, this may result in a disruptive impact on your children and their education. We of course apologise for this but school staff are not 20% less valuable than they were 13 years ago and if staff are forced into the very difficult position of withdrawing their labour, then they do so after much consideration and in order to protect the standard of education service which we can provide to your children.
To summarise, there currently will be no disruption to the education of pupils at Whiteparish on the days scheduled for industrial action and the school will be open as usual. All children will be expected to be in attendance. If this situation changes, I will of course communicate the change of circumstances with you immediately and I look forward to your continued support of the school and its staff.