Parents left in the dark over schools strike

Schools across Milton Keynes are closed or part-closed tomorrow (July 10), during strike action by three different trade unions.

This is part of a dispute affecting public sector staff nationwide, including throughout Milton Keynes. The Citizen will be carrying a video report from the picket of the council’s civic offices on Thursday.

Schools affected include:

Lord Grey School - Closed to Year 7 students, open for Years 8-10 and Year 12;

Milton Keynes Academy - Closed to Year 7, 8, 9 and 10;

Stantonbury Campus - Closed to Years 7, 8, 9 and 10, but open to Year 9 Graton Students and Year 12;

Two Mile Ash School - Closed to all students;

Ousedale School - Sixth Form students will work in private study;

Denbigh School in Shenley Church End - Closed to Years 9 and 10;

Hazeley Academy will closed to Years 7, 8, 8 and some of Year 10;

The Radcliffe School - Closed to all students;

St Paul’s School - Closed to all students but scheduled school trips will still go ahead;

Shenley Brook End School - Some lessons may be disrupted;

The Walnuts School - Closed, except for residential pupils who are on 52-week placements.

Education in the city is overseen by Milton Keynes Council. The authority’s website yesterday did not have information on the schools affected, listing every school as having “There are no current or upcoming closures” with the exception of The Walnuts.

A council spokesman said: “The decision as to whether to close the school is taken by the governing body, based on advice from the headteacher who will have undertaken a risk assessment for the school as the circumstances for each school will differ.

“Schools are expected to have informed parents in good time as to whether they will need to close school.”

The industrial action will also see other areas of council staff strike, including carers, social workers, refuse collectors, and street cleaners.

And workers will picket the council offices in Central Milton Keynes today - visit our website to see Natalee Hazelwood’s video.

The council spokesman added: “We have tried and tested contingency plans in place that should keep disruption to frontline services to a minimum and we are anticipating that it will be very much business as normal.

“Community recycling centres opening hours and waste and recycling collections due on Thursday are not affected.”

Fran Bower, area branch chair for trade union UNISON, said: “Council workers have kept on going in the face of four years of draconian government cuts to keep local services in Milton Keynes running.

“They care for our elderly and our vulnerable, keep our streets clean and educate and look after our children. They deserve better treatment than they have had at the hands of this government.

“Taking strike action is never easy but our members are sending a clear message to the government that they have had enough. Low paid women make up the backbone of most local councils and they deserve to be paid a decent wage.

“The employers must get back into talks immediately to avoid a damaging dispute.”

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