Teacher strikes

Teacher strikes: School trips and transition days face disruption

One leader said new strike days will 'rob children of special memories' as survey reveals scale of potential disruption

One leader said new strike days will 'rob children of special memories' as survey reveals scale of potential disruption

File image of girls and boys playing football at school

Two in five secondary schools have transition days planned for primary pupils on next month’s strike days, according to survey that shows the potential disruption of new industrial action during an “unusually busy week”.

TeacherTapp surveyed over 7,000 teachers to estimate potential disruption after the National Education Union confirmed strike action on July 5 and 7.

While schools are yet to finalise decisions on affected events, two in five (39 per cent) of secondary schools had transition days planned. Year six pupils usually visit their new school ahead of their start date in September.

Nearly one in five (17 per cent) of teachers school trips have been planned on strike days, while seven per cent said residential trips had been scheduled.

Sports days are planned for 14 per cent of teachers, with 12 per cent of secondary teachers expect children to be on work experience placements.

Finally, 12 per cent of primary teachers said their schools had scheduled concerts of performances on one of the strike days.

‘Disruption may be more noticeable’

Laura McInerney, TeacherTapp chief executive, said it was an “unusually busy week for schools”, adding: “The wide range of potentially disrupted activities including sports days, residential trips and concerts, shows how much schools do beyond their teaching remits.

“On the one hand, putting strike actions on these days may make the disruption more
noticeable; on the other hand it may put teachers in difficult positions, as these are one-off experiences for students that are difficult to replicate.”

The latest strike dates appear to have attracted more criticism from leaders within the sector than previous ones.

Chris Dyson, deputy chief executive of the Create Partnership Trust, tweeted while he “loves the NEU … I am struggling to support the strike”. He had a conference booked for trust staff which he said cost £15,000.

He criticised the NEU executive who “sit in offices” and “sadly have made a call that does not reflect the people working in schools”.

Strikes will ‘rob children of special memories’

Sufian Sadiq, Chiltern Learning Trust’s director of teaching school, said while the union has done a “great job to defend and protect the sector”, these days “genuinely rob children of special memories: enrichment days, transition days, sports day, trips & performances. Kids shouldn’t suffer. Please Reconsider!”

Other leaders hit out at how the split day strikes will continue to impact attendance.

Matt Taylor, an assistant principal in Manchester, tweeted: “It’s so unfair on attendance teams. My team has worked tremendously hard this year, we are currently running at a 0.5% improvement on last year. I’m convinced it would be more without the strike days.”

But Kevin Courtney, NEU’s joint general secretary, said: “No teacher wants to be taking strike action. The Education Secretary has it within her grasp to have the strikes halted.”

He urged Gillian Keegan to “acknowledge the seriousness of the problem and start negotiating with the education unions to resolve the dispute on a fully funded pay increase for the teaching profession”.

Meanwhile, school watchdog Ofsted confirmed it won’t inspect on strike days. Instead it will notify schools on Friday, June 30 for inspections taking place on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4.

It says any deferral requests made as a result of strike action will be considering on a -case-by-case basis, Ofsted said.

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