Teachers to strike over Brighton and Portslade school closures Brighton News

National Education Union members at St Bartholomew’s in Brighton and St Peter’s in Portslade will strike on Monday (January 22) over job loses because of plans to shut the schools.

Brighton and Hove City Council said it is considering the closures because of dwindling pupil numbers, with a decision due when councillors meet at Hove Town Hall, also on Monday.

But teachers, parents and supporters are not going down without a fight and will gather outside the town hall in a last ditch attempt to save their beloved schools.

Nick Childs, NEU senior regional officer, said: “The closure of the schools is not necessary. Indeed, it is exceedingly short sighted.

“Pupil admission numbers have been falling in recent years, but these fluctuate over time depending on birth rates and range of other factors. Once a school is closed the local authority is not permitted to reopen new schools.”

St Bartholomew’s saw a 100 per cent vote in favour strikes and a 100 per cent turnout. St Peter’s saw a 90 per cent vote in favour of trikes and a 100 per cent turnout.

“The resounding ballot results indicate the depth of feeling at both schools and the sense of betrayal members feel at the way the council have behaved towards their schools,” said Nick.

“Labour made a specific commitment to keeping schools open in their 2023 manifesto. Once elected they appear to have backtracked on their commitment within months.

READ MORE: ‘Vulnerable children at risk if lifeline Brighton school shuts’

“Both schools provide and excellent education to their respective communities and we appeal to the Council to listen to teachers, parents and the local communities and withdraw these damaging and unnecessary proposals immediately.”

Labour previously said: “We must act now and take these extremely tough decisions. Doing nothing and hoping the situation improves or goes away, as the Greens did, is not an option.

“In our manifesto we said that we would use what money is available to keep schools open and that is exactly what we are doing.”

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This notice was published: 2024-01-19 17:54:14

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