Teachers vote on strike action

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TEACHERS in Bulwell and the rest of Nottingham are set to go on strike over controversial city council plans to change the structure of the school year to five terms.

The Nottingham branch of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has announced that its members will walk out of schools on Thursday March 29, Tuesday April 17 and Wednesday April 25.

In a ballot held by the NUT, 251 papers out of 493 delivered to its members were returned, with nearly 90 per cent of the votes cast in favour of strike action.

The move could result in some schools around Nottingham being forced to close, with the decision on whether a school will shut its doors on those days down to individual headteachers.

The Nottingham City Council plans will see the school year split into five terms of equal length, separated by two-week breaks and with a four-week summer holiday.

The new format is set to be brought in in September 2013, but academies - such as Bulwell Academy, Church of England schools and independent schools will still be able to set their own term times.

Other unions, such as the NASUWT, are still to decide whether they will go on strike.

Neighbouring Nottinghamshire County Council has decided not to change its school year from the traditional three-term format, meaning that teachers who teach in the city but have children at county schools will be faced with childcare issues during the mis-matching holidays.

The council has written to the trade unions stating that employees who do not agree to the changes could be dismissed and offered re-employment on the revised terms and conditions.

A total of 4,237 employees would be at risk of dismissal if they refused to sign up.