A HEREFORDSHIRE school says only one year group will be able to attend as normal next week as teachers strike over pay.

Kingstone High School, near Hereford, said year 11 were expected to attend as normal when teachers, members of the National Education Union (NEU), walk out on Wednesday (February 1).

But it would also be open to pupils from any year who were on the special educational needs and/or disabilities register, receive free school meals or is a child in care.

Get in touch: If your child's school is closing, or partially closing, as teachers go on strike, let us know via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email.

Children in years seven and eight whose parents work in the emergency services or wider NHS would also be allowed to go to school.

Executive headteacher David Bennett said in a letter to parents: "This is the first teachers’ strike in many years and we shall adapt our processes after the first day so that we may be able to offer more on the future three days.

"This is clearly staff dependent to ensure the safety of all the children in our care. We apologise for any disruption but we hope you understand the reasons behind it."

Strikes are also planned in the West Midlands on Wednesday, March 1, Wednesday, March 15 and Thursday, March 16

22,000 new members sign up to NEU ahead of strikes

It comes after a union boss warned many schools will close during strikes after the National Education Union received tens of thousands of new members.

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), has called on school leaders to let parents know ahead of February 1 if they plan to shut their doors during strike action next week.


The NEU said it has received 22,000 new sign-ups in the past week after announcing it will launch seven days of walkouts throughout February and March in England and Wales.

Asked if there is likely to be more disruption due to the influx of new members, Ms Bousted told the PA news agency: “I think the action will be stronger because we’ve got a bigger membership. People join so they can take part in the action.”

Hereford Times: Joint General-Secretary of the National Education Union Mary Bousted leaving the Department for Education (DfE) in Westminster where union leaders are meeting with DfE officials for talks in a bid to avert teacher strikesJoint General-Secretary of the National Education Union Mary Bousted leaving the Department for Education (DfE) in Westminster where union leaders are meeting with DfE officials for talks in a bid to avert teacher strikes (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

Ms Bousted, who has been involved in talks with the Government to avert the strikes, said she is expecting more than 100,000 teachers to walk outon February 1 – the first day of industrial action – which she has said will result in “lots of schools” closing.

Agency staff and volunteers could cover strikes

The Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School said in a letter to parents earlier this month that it wasn't yet sure if it would have to close.

Headteacher Martin Henton said: "We will take all reasonable steps to keep our school open on these days and will plan carefully to minimise the disruption to learning.

"I appreciate that the strike action may create challenges, we are currently working to understand what the implications are for the school and how we will plan for them."

Guidance from the Department for Education suggests agency staff and volunteers could be used to cover classes on strike days, with schools expected to remain open where possible.

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Education Secretary Gillian Keegan wrote to NEU leaders on Saturday asking questions about the timing of the announcement of their strike ballot results.

In the letter, published on the NEU’s website, Ms Keegan questioned why the union decided to announce their ballot results on social media late on Monday afternoon before providing the results directly to employers on Tuesday.


A Department for Education (DfE) spokesperson said: “There are clear legal obligations on trade unions to inform employers of the outcomes of ballot results and notify them of intentions to strike.

“It is only right that the department seeks to ensure that these obligations have been met as part of continued correspondence with the NEU over industrial action.

“Our goal remains to keep as many children in schools as possible, therefore, ensuring schools are given as much notice as possible is vital.”

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