More than 73 Croydon schools to shut tomorrow

Over 73 schools are expected to be shut tomorrow, leaving classrooms empty across the borough pic: Camilla Hemmestad

Thousands of children in Croydon will be affected by the public sector pensions strike on November 30, as over 73 schools in the borough are set to close.

Primary, secondary, and sixth form students in Croydon will lose a day of education as teachers walk out to take part in the one-day strike.

To date, around 73 schools in Croydon have stated they will close on Wednesday, with 19 schools partially closed. This compares to 25 schools that closed in June over protests against pension changes.

Wolsey Junior School’s decision to close on Wednesday will see 352 children aged 7-11 out of school.

Dave Harvey, secretary of Croydon branch of the National Union of Teachers, endorses the closure of schools in Croydon.

He said: “It is a response to what this union, NUT, is asking them to do. The strike more than justifies children losing a day of education, if teachers are going to be treated like this by the government.”

“People come into teaching on a package – with a reasonable pension. If this doesn’t happen, then people aren’t going to come into teaching”, Harvey added.

Although the closure of many schools will be disruptive to parents, Harvey states he, “can’t remember any example of a parent having an issue with the strike,” and added, “they are always supportive and understanding.”

In a newsletter sent to parents ahead of the strike, Pat Williams, Chair of Governors for Wolsey Junior school said: “The decision to close the school or send pupils home is never taken lightly, but in this instance, where staff have elected to take lawful industrial action, I have no choice but to take appropriate steps to ensure the health, safety and well being of all pupils.”

Despite many parents faced with the prospect of looking after their children on a school day, Croydon’s largest child care service, Croydon Child Care, said they are “quite surprised” they have not had a sudden increase in daycare bookings ahead of Wednesday’s strikes. They suggest this may be a result of David Cameron encouraging parents to take children to work with them for the day.

More than two million public sector workers are expected to strike in London over the government’s controversial pension reforms, which will see teachers and other public sector workers paying more money into their pensions, working for longer, and receiving less when they retire.

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