Teachers ditch classes to strike - full list of schoolsBy Lewis Rudd
June 29, 2011
Scores of schoolchildren across Wokingham can expect a day off tomorrow as hundreds of teachers prepare to walk out of work in a continuing row over pensions.
Four secondary and 18 infant and primary schools across the borough will be closed because of staff shortages.
This is because staff belonging to teaching unions are to down pens and pencils and form picket lines in response to proposed changes to public sector pensions by central Government.
Another 13 schools will suffer part closures and reduced timetables as a result of the industrial action, while 25 will remain unaffected.
It is understood as many as 400 of the 800 staff belonging to the National Union of Teachers (NUT) in Wokingham are preparing to walk out.
They are likely to be joined by members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the University and College Union (UCU), who have also been balloted about strike action.
Members are livid with central Government proposals to reform the public sector pension structure.
Proposed changes include increasing staff pension contributions from six per cent to nine per cent and increasing the retirement age for men and women to 66 from 2020.
Ministers and union leaders met earlier this week to discuss ways to avoid any possible strike actions, however, it appears these negotiations have broken down.
Some 750,000 teachers and civil servants across the UK are set to walk out of their jobs tomorrow.
The decision to strike has been criticised and condemned by many across the country, while in Wokingham, Councillor Rob Stanton has added his voice to the list of sceptics.
The executive member for children’s services at Wokingham Borough Council said he “regrets” such action is being taken, adding that it is the children who are inevitably going to suffer.
He believes, however, the number of closed and part-closed schools across Wokingham could change over the next 24-hours.
“This is a movable list as a lot of negotiations are going on with a lot of schools as we speak,” he said.
“That will change, but whether it will be added to or lowered I don’t know, but it is not fixed in stone.
“I do regret this [strike action] I really do. I don’t honestly think striking solves anything because they will have to come to an agreement eventually.
“As far as disruptions at schools are concerned I regret it and hope as many schools as possible stay open, but one has to be mindful that this is done in a safe environment, which is key, because you cannot have 400 children and one teacher.”
Cllr Stanton went on to say he remains hopeful the two parties can come to an agreement to avoid strike action, event if “it is getting on for the 11th hour”.
When asked if he has sympathies with those striking, the ward member for Finchampstead said: “No, because I do not support strike action. Concerns about pensions, I sympathise with that but I cannot support strikes.”
- Children under eight affected by the industrial action swim for free at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre in Rushey Way, Lower Earley, tomorrow.
The closures: (this list will be updated throughout the day)
Beechwood Primary School, Woodley
The Bulmershe School, Woodley
Colleton CofE Primary School, Twyford
Hatch Ride Primary School, Crowthorne
Hawthorns Primary School, Woosehill
Highwood Primary School, Woodley
Hillside Primary School, Lower Earley
Keep Hatch Primary School, Wokingham
Maiden Erlegh School, Lower Earley
Nine Mile Ride Primary School, Wokingham
The Piggott School, Twyford
Polehampton CofE Junior School, Twyford
Radstock Primary School, Twyford
Rivermead Primary School, Woodley
Waingels College, Woodley
Walter Infant School, Wokingham
Whiteknights Primary School, Shinfield
Willow Bank Infant School, Woodley
Willow Bank Junior School, Woodley
Winnersh Primary School
Woodley CofE Primary School.
Aldryington Primary School, Earley
Earley St Peters CE Primary School
Hawkedon Primary School, Lower Earley
Oaklands Infant School, Crowthorne
St Dominic Savio School, Woodley
St Paul’s CofE Junior School, Wokingham
St Sebastian CE Primary School, Wokingham
The Emmbrook School
The Forest School, Winnersh
The Holt School, Wokingham
St Crispin’s School, Wokingham
Addington School, Woodley.