Keighley-district schools set to close due to strike action

Keighley News: Ian Murch Ian Murch

MORE than a dozen schools across the Keighley district are scheduled to close on Thursday – and others partially shut – due to strike action.

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) are among public sector workers taking part in a walkout.

The GMB union and UNISON, which both represent council and non-teaching school staff, and the Public and Commercial Services Union are also involved.

The action is over below-inflation pay rises, conditions and pensions in public sector jobs.

Keighley-area schools currently confirmed as closing are Beechcliffe, Cullingworth, Denholme, Eastburn, Harden, Haworth, Laycock, Long Lee, Merlin Top, Nessfield, Parkside, Parkwood, Phoenix and Wilsden.

Planning to partially close are Aire View, Holycroft, Keighley St Andrew's, Oakbank, Oakworth and Strong Close Nursery School & Children's Centre.

Two schools in the South Craven area also announced they would be shut – Cononley Primary and Sutton CP School.

Ian Murch, Bradford district's NUT spokesman, said the strike had been timed to avoid any school exams.

He added: "We were originally going to be striking earlier, but when other unions that represent school staff were planning on striking on the 10th we decided that rather than have two different days of disruption on schools we'd have it on the same day.

"We didn't want to strike when exams were on."

He said that as well as pay rises that did not match inflation, the NUT was striking over increasing pressures on teachers – which have seen some primary teachers working 60 hours a week.

A Bradford Council spokesman said it would be up to individual schools and their governors whether they opened.

Schools will inform parents if they are shutting, and details will be included on the council website.

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