I asked two questions at full council last night, the first:
(3) Question from Councillor James Courtenay to the Executive Councillor for Children and Learning
I note that two schools in Blenheim Park Ward, namely Blenheim Primary School and Westcliff High School for Boys remained fully open and St. Christopher’s School and St. Thomas Moore remained partially open during the recent industrial action on the 30th June. Will the Executive Councillor for Children and Learning join me in congratulating these schools and any others in the Borough which have made such an exceptional effort to provide educational services on that day under such difficult circumstances?
Answer from Mark Flewitt:
‘Yes, I would like to join Councillor Courtenay in congratulating all schools who were able to offer services on the nationwide strike day and I do regret that some parents were presented with care issues that day and some young people had their education interrupted”.
I recognise that no teachers really want to strike but there was a 35% turn-out in response to the original ballot which was in relation changes in the teachers’ pension scheme.
I went on to ask him if he would “join me in supporting the Secretary of State for Education (Michael Gove) in his call for schools to use all necessary measures to keep schools open should future strikes take place?”
He said: Yes. But he pointed out that consultations are still ongoing and that he hopes that these will mean that any future strikes are not necessary.