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Kingston schools could close as teachers plan strike action
Teachers are set to go on strike and many schools across the borough may close for a day next week.
Members of the country’s biggest teaching unions the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) are gearing up to protest against pay, pensions and conditions on Thursday, October 17.
Khawer Siddiqi, NUT representative for Kingston who teaches business studies at Hollyfield School in Surbiton Hill, said: “Teachers are very angry about the impact of changes being imposed by the Government to our pay, pensions and conditions.
“This is having a negative effect on the morale of all teachers; the changes being imposed will affect recruitment and retention and on the provision of quality education for pupils.
“I’m sure many heads are in support but obviously they have their own responsibilities and they can’t say it openly. A lot of people are sympathetic towards us including members of the public. But the government does not seem to be in the mood to talk to us.”
He said there were around 1,200 NUT members based in Kingston.
Strikes planned for Wales were called off last month by teachers after the Welsh government agreed to talks. But Education Secretary Michael Gove has refused to do the same in England.
Chessington Community College Rob Niedermaier-Reed wrote on the school's website: “It is still unclear how this will affect Chessington Community College but it may impact on our ability to provide adequate teaching cover on that day.
"If this is the case, we will have to close the school and we are intending to be able to confirm this with you on Monday 14 October.”
Councillor David Ryder-Mills, lead member for schools and continuing education, said: “As a former teacher I do have certain amount of sympathy for teachers.
"But I wish they could have found other ways of going about drawing attention to their concerns.”
It is not yet clear how many schools in the borough will close down for the day.
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