A SECONDARY school in Herefordshire will close on Wednesday as teachers join a national strike over pay.

Several schools in Herefordshire, including Ledbury Primary and Hereford Academy, have already announced partial closures.

But headteachers have said plans could change last minute as teachers don't need to say that they are going to strike.


But Lady Hawkins' School, in Park Avenue, Kington, is the first Herefordshire school to publically announce it will shut its doors on Wednesday.

It comes as half of its teachers join the National Education Union industrial action in a row over pay.

The school, which has 264 pupils aged between 11 ad 16 years old, said employment legislation does not allow headteachers to ask staff whether or not they are planning to strike.

This means it will not know for certain which staff will strike and which will be at work.

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Despite hoping the school would stay open, conversations on Monday suggested that half of the teaching staff would walk out.

"As a result of this, and taking into account the guidance from other unions, I am concerned that we cannot cover lessons or provide enough supervision during non-contact times to adequately meet our safeguarding requirements," headteacher Paul Jennings said.

"Lady Hawkins' School will therefore have to close to students on Wednesday, February 1."

Students will have work set online and urged anyone who had an issue with that to contact the school before Wednesday morning.

He said the school would contact the carers of the most vulnerable students to ensure that it can meet their needs.

Joint NEU general secretary Kevin Courtney said it “looks like” the first teachers’ strike will go ahead on Wednesday.


Speaking outside the Department for Education (DfE), he said: “It looks like we will have to have the strike on February 1, but the next strike in England is not until February 28.

“There’s time for them to talk. There’s time for them to bring proposals. They need to move because of the state of education, just like they need to move on nurses’ pay because of the state of the NHS.

“You just can’t have a functioning health service and a functioning school system if you’re not prepared to invest in it and invest in the people who work in it.”

Fellow NEU general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said “unfortunately” the strike on Wednesday will go ahead if “no serious offer” is made during talks with the Government on Monday.