Wiltshire schools disrupted during NUT strike today
1:58pm Wednesday 26th March 2014 in By Anne Moore
Today’s teachers’ strike disrupted many schools in North Wiltshire, causing many to only partially open.
The Royal Wootton Bassett Academy closed for the day due to the strike, called by the National Union of Teachers over pay, pensions and working conditions.
The Corsham School also closed to pupils, although the sixth form remained open.
Members of the teacher’s union were not obliged to let schools know if they would strike.
Schools in Chippenham, Malmesbury and Marlborough closed partially, running lessons for older pupils studying for GCSE and A-level exams.
In Chippenham, Abbeyfield, Hardenhuish and Sheldon opened for pupils in years 11, 12 and 13, but closed to pupils in other year groups, offering supervision for year seven pupils.
At Sheldon, where just over one third of teaching staff are members of the NUT, the year 12 UCAS fair and psychology trip went ahead as planned but the year eight parents’ evening was postponed.
Deputy headteacher Sue Powell said: “We have a significant number of teachers in the union.
"It’s quite difficult to plan, but we have assumed that the majority will support the union action so for health and safety reasons we can’t have the school open as normal.
“The people involved feel very strongly that they have to make a stand because of the changes to their conditions in service and their pensions and as members of the union they have the right to strike.”
Malmesbury School closed to pupils in years eight and nine, but remained open for years seven, 10, 11, 12 and 13, providing supervision in the library for pupils in year seven.
St John’s School in Marlborough closed to pupils in year seven to 10 and also offered the opportunity for year seven pupils to go into school and work under supervision.
Several schools decided to stay open during the strike, including John Bentley in Calne, Pewsey Vale School, Devizes School and Lavington School.
Primary schools were largely unaffected, although St Paul’s School in Chippenham had four classes open and four classes shut on the day.
At Fynamore School in Calne nine out of the school’s 14 teachers took part in industrial action and the school was open only to pupils of the five teachers not involved in the strike.