Twenty schools to close as teachers take strike action

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Teaching will grind to a halt in 20 borough schools next Thursday as teachers walk out in protest at the government.

Staff at the 20 schools, although that figure could rise, are preparing to walk out for 24-hours to show their dismay at the running of the education department.

Hundreds of pupils and parents will be affected after unions NUT and NASUWT called for the action on October 17 in protest over education minister Michael Gove’s “incessant denigration” of the profession.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, said: “At the start of the new academic year, the last thing teachers wish to be doing is preparing for further industrial action.

“It is a great shame that the education secretary has let things get to this stage.”

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “The attacks on teachers are relentless.

“The reward for their hard work, dedication and commitment has been a vicious assault on their pay, conditions and professionalism.”

The schools which have said they will be closed are St Mary’s RC Primary School in Forest Hall, Christ Church C of E Primary, North Shields, Monkseaton Middle, Valley Gardens Middle, Wellfield Middle, Wallsend Jubilee Community Primary, Whitley Lodge First, Churchill High, George Stephenson High, Amberley Community Primary, Balliol Primary, Battle Hill Community Primary, Collingwood Primary, Cullercoats Primary, Forest Hall Primary, Hadrian Park Community Primary, Monkhouse Primary, Marden Bridge Middle, Marden High and St Thomas More RC Academy.

Schools that will remain partially open are St Mary’s RVCA Primary School in North Shields, Wallsend St Peter’s C of E Primary, Westmoor Primary, Seaton Burn High, King Edward Primary, Langley First, and Southridge First.

Both Coquet Park First and Riverside Community Primary will only be open to reception classes.

Those schools that will remain open are South Wellfield First, Kings Academy, Sir James Knott Nursery, Appletree Gardens First, Carville Primary, Denbigh Community Primary, Grasmere Academy, Ivy Road Primary, and Shiremoor Primary.

Alison Shaw, principal of Seaton Burn High School, said: “A significant number of teachers will be taking action in light of advice from the union, because of the risk assessment following that, we are likely to be partially closed.”

A North Tyneside Council spokesperson said: “We have asked schools to inform the local authority whether they will be able to remain open.

“The decision on whether to close is taken by individual schools, based on their assessment of the impact of industrial action on the safety of pupils, staff and visitors.

“We will be providing full up to date information on our website at www.northtyneside.gov.uk as soon as that is available.”