Confusion over number of schools hit by strike
AT LEAST six secondary schools and four primary schools in the St Albans district will be partially closed tomorrow (Thursday) as teachers strike over pay. Marlborough School will be shut, apart from some post-16, Year 11 and Year 10 lessons, and Beaumont
AT LEAST six secondary schools and four primary schools in the St Albans district will be partially closed tomorrow (Thursday) as teachers strike over pay.
Marlborough School will be shut, apart from some post-16, Year 11 and Year 10 lessons, and Beaumont School will be closed to all students except sixth-formers and those sitting exams.
Sir John Lawes in Harpenden will be closed to all students in Years 7 and 8, while Years 7 to 11 at nearby Roundwood Park and St Georges School have been told to stay at home.
Meanwhile the primary schools which have confirmed they are partially closing are Fleetville Junior, Sir John Fisher and Aboyne Lodge in St Albans along with Manland Primary in Harpenden.
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Herts County Council said that only 59 schools out of more than 500 in the county had confirmed their position to them and many more could have decided to close.
St Albans Girls School confirmed on its website that it would be closed to Years 7 through to 10.
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A small number of lecturers will also be striking at Oaklands College but Principal Mark Dawe said it would be business as usual with lesson cover.
It's the first national strike called by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) for
21 years and it is over a Government pay deal offered to teachers.
County Secretary for the NUT, Christine Hood, who also lives in St Albans, said that teachers involved in the strike would be joining rallies in Letchworth or London.
Giving the reason for the action, she said: "Over the last three years the Retail Price Index (RPI) has gone up by 12.5 per cent and teachers' pay has only gone up by 7.5 per cent. Now the current offer for the next three years is seven per cent and the RPI is forecast to rise by another 12.5 per cent. Government statistics show that over a six-year period the RPI would have gone up 10 per cent more than teachers' salaries. Teachers' salaries are being cut by 10 per cent. "
"And one thing particularly relevant in Herts and especially in St Albans is teachers can't afford to live here. There is a very high turnover particularly in shortage subjects."
Ms Hood said the picture was particularly bad for teachers who had recently graduated as the student loan interest was set to double to 4.8 per cent this year in line with a different measure of inflation.