Friday, 25 November 2011

Updated: Arden could close "at last minute" for strike

ARDEN school may have to take the decision to close for industrial action next week at the “last minute” its principal has warned.

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In a letter to parents Martin Murphy and chairman of governors Dr Celia O’Donovan said the school did not know how many staff would strike on Wednesday.

It said they had been informed by NASUWT, NUT, Unison, ATL and GMB the strike would take place.

But they said: “There is no requirement on unions to inform us of which members of staff will take action, and it may be that they will not know themselves as there is no obligation on members of unions to obey a strike call.”

It says: “The school will only close if in the opinion of the principal it is not safe to remain open.

“If it does remain open it is unlikely that lessons will be normal and there may have to be sessions of private study supervised by a senior member of staff.”

The letter adds: “Because we may not know until very late how many staff will be available to work, the decision to close may have to be taken at the last minute.

“Every effort will be made to give notice at the latest by the day before.”

Yet it says parents must have plans in place if the school has to close. A notice will be placed on the school’s website as soon as a decision is known, it says.

The letter emphasises the strike is “not against the school” but over a national row over pensions.

Solihull Metroplitan Borough Council today said Knowle and Dorridge primary schools would not be affected and would be open as usual.

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