A LARGE York secondary school will close to all but select year groups this week as a second round of teacher strikes are set to get underway.

Andrew Daly, who is CEO of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust in York and executive head at Archbishop Holgate's CE in Badger Hill, is one of dozens of head teachers trying to make provision for when strikes go ahead in the city on Wednesday and Thursday (March 15 and 16).

The National Education Union (NEU) has announced national and regional industrial action in England and it follows two days of action last month.

Nine out of 10 teacher members of the National Education Union (NEU) voted in favour of industrial action in the dispute over pay, passing the 50 per cent ballot turned out required by law.

The strikes have affected more than 23,000 schools in England and Wales.

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In a letter to parents Mr Daly said: "Whilst we are anticipating a similar situation at Archbishop’s to the previous strike days in February, we cannot guarantee this as the NEU membership within our schools may have changed since then and the number of teachers planning to participate in the industrial action may also be different.

"However, based on the previous days of industrial action we know that we have a high level of NEU membership at Archbishop Holgate’s and the uncertainty around the number of colleagues who will be taking part in industrial action means that there will be significant impact on the normal running of the school.

"Unfortunately, once again, the school will only be open for Vulnerable and EHCP students, alongside the following: Wednesday (March 15), Year 7 students only and on Thursday (March 16) – Year 11 students only."

York Press: Andrew DalyAndrew Daly

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: "I think the Government is fundamentally mistaken in thinking that industrial relations are solved by telling people you can’t go on strike if you want to talk to us.

“We are willing to meet at any time, and we would really hope that Education Secretary Gillian Keegan does meet with us after these regional strikes and comes up with something serious that is an offer that we can put to members."

Ms Keegan said: "Instead of sitting round a table discussing pay, the NEU will once again cause disruption for children and families in Yorkshire and the Humber.

"Children deserve to be in school, and further strike action is simply unforgivable, especially after everything children have been through because of the pandemic."

Mary Bousted, joint NEU general secretary, said the results show “the Government that the NEU members will not stand by and see the education service they work so hard for and they care for so much be sacrificed because teachers and support staff are being driven from the profession they love because of a toxic mix of low pay and excessive workload”.