Urgent: Industrial Action
Urgent: Industrial Action
Dear parents and carers,
As you may be aware, all teaching unions balloted their members recently and the pay offer has been rejected - unanimously.
This is because:
- The offer is not funded. Only 0.5% is funded. This means that the money would come directly from your children and their education.
Ultimately for East Wichel, like many other schools, this would mean significant cuts across the board but most notably in support staff. This would have a catastrophic effect on our ability to care for and meet your children’s needs and provide the level and quality of education they deserve.
- Post covid we have seen a significant increase in additional social, emotional and mental health needs across the school. We need enough adults to be able to give children the time that they need to process what they have been through and to support them pastorally – now, more than ever.
- This would affect our vulnerable children who desperately need this additional support the most.
- The funding we will receive per pupil in 2024 remains 3% below 2010 levels in real-terms. Our energy costs have increased by 140% not to mention increases to the cost across the board for food, services and resources. We are almost at breaking point.
- Recruitment and retention for the profession is in crisis. If we have staff off sick, we are unable to get agency staff as there are so few. We are so fortunate to have amazing teachers at East Wichel at the moment. When we have had to recruit, we are lucky if we have any applications. Ten years ago we would have between 10-20 applicants, now we are delighted if we have two. There are so few people training to be a teacher that in a few years’ time, all education settings (including East Wichel) will be in serious trouble. Add to this the fact than one in three new teachers leave within the first few years of service and 44% of all teachers currently plan to leave within the next 5 years.
One of the unions have two days of industrial action planned on the 27th April and the 2nd May. The other unions will be balloting to see if members support industrial action and setting dates later in the year. We will notify you once these are confirmed.
Partial school closure for Industrial action on the 27th April and the 2nd May
Year 5, Gambia Class and India Class will be closed on these dates so please make alternative child care arrangements. We hope to be able to offer care for our most vulnerable children in these groups but we will send further information directly to you if this applies to your child.
All other classes and year groups including Year 6 are open for children to attend school.
Year 6 parents please be aware that for the day will run differently to usual.
I have wanted to be a teacher all my life. I used to line my dollies up for registration. I am fiercely proud of our profession and its capacity to change lives and future society. It is heart-breaking to see what is happening to education at the moment. Children are our future.
Please know that anyone who chooses to work in a school does so because they really care. Because they love working with children and want to make a difference in the world. Those taking industrial action lose pay for those days and pension contributions so it is not a decision that they make lightly.
Please do reach out to us if you have any questions and I will aim to collate and answer these as best I can. And finally, if there are any of you considering a career in education do let us know and we can put you in touch with the relevant bodies.