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Teacher strikes: The schools in the Cambridge region that are closing or partially closing

Many schools across Cambridgeshire will be closed and others face significant disruption on Wednesday (February 1) as teachers strike over pay.

The government has said schools should try to open, but many have announced that they will at least partially close.
The government has said schools should try to open, but many have announced that they will at least partially close.

The government has said schools should try to open, but many have announced that they will at least partially close.

A rally and march is being held in Cambridge from 11am, with union members promising to “bring the city to a standstill”.

Paul McLaughlin, regional secretary of the National Education Union eastern region, said: “Parents know the consequences of persistent underfunding both for their school/college and for their child.

“This strike should not be necessary, and we regret the adverse impact on parents and pupils. However, government failure to act brings us to a point where members have no choice but to exercise their democratic right to make their voices heard.”

The decision to open, restrict attendance, or close a maintained school is for the headteacher. For academies, the decision rests with the relevant trust, but is usually taken by the principal.

Employees are not required to tell their employers whether they intend to take strike action. However, headteachers are entitled to ask staff in advance if they intend to strike so they can plan how to manage the strike.

Jonathan Lewis, director of education for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, warned: “The emerging picture is one of significant disruption. Even schools which are fully open will see some disruption to the curriculum.

“We will be collating information on which schools are closed or partially closed and updating our website regularly.”

Dozens of primary and secondary schools across Cambridgeshire have announced closures, with some only opening for vulnerable and critical worker children and others opting to set work to be completed virtually.

In Cambridge, Long Road Sixth Form College will be holding lessons online to avoid students coming in and facing disruption. However, it says students are welcome to come in and use the college’s facilities for independent study.

Parkside Community College has said students in Years 11 and 7 should attend school as normal in full school uniform. Year 13 should attend The Eden Centre and Years 8, 9, 10 and 12 have been set work to complete at home.

A rally and march is being held in Cambridge tomorrow
A rally and march is being held in Cambridge tomorrow

At Coleridge Community College, the school will be open to Year 11 students, but closed for the other year groups, who have been set work to complete online.

Vulnerable pupils and children of first responders in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 can attend Cottenham Village College, along with all pupils in Year 11. The school will also be providing packed lunches for those eligible for free school meals, which can be collected at 1pm by the student or a parent/guardian.

Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology will be open, as will The Cavendish School.

Ely College, Impington Village College and Sawston Village College will be partially open, and Witchford Village College will be open to selected vulnerable and critical worker children.

At North Cambridge Academy, the school will close to Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 at lunchtime, but will remain open for Year 11 students, who will have a full day “ as close to normal as is possible”.

Cambourne Village College will be open to Year 11 students only, with vulnerable students from any year group also able to attend school to undertake virtual learning. In a letter to parents, headteacher Claire Coates said: “Thank you to those parents who have written to express solidarity for the teachers who are taking part in this strike. This is not a decision that any one of them has taken lightly.”

Bottisham Village College will be opening for Year 11 only, with other year groups set work to be completed online at home.

Meanwhile, hundreds of UCU members are expected to join striking teachers from the NEU in a joint march and rally starting at Parker’s Piece at 11am and ending at the Guildhall for a rally at 12.30pm.

Members of the PCS union and the train drivers union ASLEF, who are also striking on Wednesday, will join the march alongside UCU and NEU.

The demonstration has the backing of the Cambridge TUC, which is urging support for a nationwide day of action in protest at the government’s plans to impose new anti-strike legislation on public service workers.

Advice from the DfE is that there is no legal requirement for schools to teach the curriculum on strike days.

Meanwhile, Royal College of Nursing members will strike again outside Cambridge University Hospitals on February 6 and 7.

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