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Suffolk: 62 schools closed or partially closed due to NUT strike

PUBLISHED: 10:35 26 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:35 26 March 2014

Graham White, Suffolk NUT

Graham White, Suffolk NUT

Archant

At least 12 schools in Suffolk re thought to be closed this morning as teachers’ strike in opposition to reforms to their pay and conditions.

Last night, the council said a further 50 schools would be partially closed. These do not include academies or free schools.

The number of school closures was expected to change, however the total number of schools affected is thought to be less than during the last teachers’ strike in October when NASUWT also struck.

Essex County Council confirmed that 37 schools were due to closed with 68 partially closed..

Teachers are striking over the introduction of a performance-related pay structure and a tougher pensions package which would see them receive their pension at the age of 67.

The secretary of Suffolk NUT, Graham White, said: “It’s very regrettable that we need to take this action but we are left with no option, we are still waiting for Mr Gove to get around the table and discuss these proposals.

“There has been a meeting with the Department of Education to which Mr Gove did not turn up. He is not prepared to discuss the dispute.

“He’s prepared to discuss how we implement the pension changes but not whether they should be implemented, which seems to me not to be a very helpful attitude.”

However Councillor Lisa Chambers, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education, skills and young people, said the dispute was a national one and children in Suffolk shouldn’t be dragged into it.

“Many people will ask how teachers can justify going on strike over pay and workload concerns at the same time as wanting to improve educational attainment,” she said.

“On the relatively rare occasions that teachers go on strike, we support heads and encourage them to plan ahead and aim to keep schools open wherever possible. We know that many teachers won’t actually want to strike and will work with heads to keep their schools running.”

Stowmarket Road in Great Blakenham was closed on Saturday night after a car left the road and crashed into a house.

Police have named the van driver who died in an accident on the Orwell Bridge on Friday as 67-year-old Michael (Mick) Rayner from Essex.

A new customer service office has opened in Sudbury as Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils prepare to move their main operations to Ipswich where they will share Suffolk’s Endeavour House headquarters.

Road crews from Highways England will be working at the following sites on East Anglia’s busiest roads over the next week – so this is where drivers can expect to find delays:

Colchester MP Will Quince was visibly moved as the House of Commons passed a new law giving parents the right to compassionate leave from work after suffering the tragedy of stillbirth.

The snooker area at Bears Pool & Snooker Club in Ipswich has now opened following the venue relaunch this summer.

A primary school student is counting down the days until the Bury St Edmunds Round Table fireworks display after winning an artwork competition to be the VIP.

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