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Uttoxeter schools prepare for strike action in ongoing union dispute

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UTTOXETER teachers are once again taking to the picket lines in an ongoing battle over pay, pensions and working conditions.

The newly announced round of strikes could see school closures across Uttoxeter, as staff members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) are set to walk out on July 10.

Oldfields Hall Middle School and Ryecroft Middle School are currently waiting on teaching staff to announce whether or not they will be taking strike action, in order to decide on whether they will have to make closures for the day.

Thomas Alleyne’s High School is currently hoping to open on the day but is to provide an update for parents at the start of next week.

Windsor Park Middle School declined to make comment at the time of going to press.

A spokesman for Ryecroft Middle School said: “We are still waiting on decisions from various staff.

“As soon as we can we will inform parents about the impact of strike action.”

Nick Brown, head teacher at Oldfields Hall Middle School, said: “At present we are not sure of how many teachers are taking strike action, but we are hoping to keep the school open.”

Newly appointed head teacher Julie Rudge of Thomas Alleyne’s High School said: “I have been notified of the intention of NUT and UNISON members to take action on July 10.

“Currently we are hoping to open the school on that day.

“Any changes to this and further information will be provided to parents at the start of next week.”

Windsor Park Middle School, in Springfield Road, Talbot First School in Kingstone, and St Peter’s First School in Alton all closed for the day in the most recent round of NUT strike action.

St Mary’s First School in The Heath, Ryecroft Middle School in Denstone Road, Rocester, Hutchinson Memorial First School in Checkley and All Saints First School in Denstone also made partial closures.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said: “The Government is still failing to make progress on our trade dispute.

“For teachers, performance related pay, working until 68 for a full pension and heavy workload for 60 hours a week, is unsustainable.

“Strike action is a last resort for teachers and we deeply regret the disruption it causes.

“Michael Gove can still avoid the strike by engaging in serious negotiations on substantive issues.”

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: “Further strike action will only disrupt parents’ lives, hold back children’s education and damage the reputation of the profession.”

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