Schools may be forced to close to certain year groups due to industrial action

Tuesday 20th September 2022 12:06 pm
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(IOM Newspapers )

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Schools may be forced to close to certain year groups this week, according to the government.

With the dispute between teachers’ union NASUWT and the Department of Education, Sport and Culture over pay ongoing, the DESC asked the union to reconsider its action short of strike action, which means its members now refuse to cover break times.

The government said in a statement that it was worried for the safety of students.

It said: ‘While the Department managed to find cover last week to ensure students were safe – this is no longer sustainable and means some schools might be forced to close to certain year groups this week as the safety of students cannot be guaranteed.

‘In this situation parents will be contacted directly by their child’s head teacher.’

The department said it was ‘deeply disappointed’ that the NASUWT continue to escalate the list of actions its members will not carry out, ‘especially following the implementation of the London fringe pay scales and an additional Isle of Man weighting of 1%’.

This saw all teachers receive an uplift between 2% to 7.6% and was backdated toSeptember 1, 2021. The majority of unions accepted this offer earlier this year and the department made arrangements to pay teachers and lecturers, using the improved pay scales, from July 2022.

The arrears from September 2021 were also paid last month.

The government has said it is ‘unsure as to what the continued escalation at this point will achieve’ and is ‘concerned that without appropriate cover at break times, the safety of students will be put at risk and schools could have to take the necessary action, including sending year groups home’.

It added: ‘Schools will endeavour to operate as normal during this escalation and the safeguarding and wellbeing of children will continue to be at the heart of all decision making.

‘The department continue to invest in the workforce, recognising the value of the profession and the role it plays in the future of our young people and education across the island whilst remaining committed to actively engage with all unions.’

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