School strikes: Fife Council confirms impact of January's industrial action on Kingdom's schools

Schools across Fife are set to close to pupils as four teachers’ unions plan to strike in the new year.
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Fife Council has confirmed schools will close over the three days of industrial action planned by members of the Education Institute for Scotland (EIS), the Scottish Secondary Teacher Association (SSTA), the Association of Heads and Deputes (AHDS) and the NASUWT teacher union, but not all schools will be affected on all three days.

EIS and NASUWT members in primary schools will take strike action on Tuesday, January 10 – the week after pupils return to the classroom from their Christmas break. Those members in secondary schools will walk out on Wednesday, January 11, joined by SSTA members.

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As a result of the unions’ strike action in a dispute over pay, on January 10, 2023 all Fife primary schools and their nursery classes, special schools and primary pupil support centres will close to pupils. While on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, all Fife secondary schools and secondary pupil support centres will close. On Wednesday, January 18, all schools will be closed to pupils.

Schools are set to close in January as teachers prepare to walk out again in pay dispute.  Picture: Lisa Ferguson.Schools are set to close in January as teachers prepare to walk out again in pay dispute.  Picture: Lisa Ferguson.
Schools are set to close in January as teachers prepare to walk out again in pay dispute. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.

Fife Council said a decision regarding any required closures of family nurture centres, standalone early years settings and childcare services will be confirmed in early January.

Shelagh McLean, head of education, said: “This strike is part of wider action relating to a national pay dispute. I fully appreciate how difficult it is for parents, carers and pupils when we have to close our schools and I can only ask for their patience and understanding.

"We can’t know in advance how many of our teachers will join the planned strike action. However, we do know that most union members voted in favour of action and most took part in the industrial action in November and December, so we expect a continued high level of participation.

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"As you will understand, we can’t open our buildings to children and young people, or provide cover across all classes and subjects, without sufficient teachers. So, even though some staff may come to work, we’re unlikely to be able to run any educational facility safely.

"Therefore, to help families plan, we’ve made the difficult decision to close Fife secondary schools on January 11 and 18 and primary and special schools on January 10 and 18. I know this may be challenging or inconvenient for many families.“Our children and young people have access to a wide range of online learning resources and educational games, and more senior pupils have access to GLOW, Teams, Scholar, SQA past papers, BBC Bitesize, West OS and e-Sgoil. We ask that they make use of these resources across their subject areas.”

The council confirmed that should the industrial action go ahead, a direct payment for school meals, covering two days of industrial action, will be made into the bank account of a parent/carer where children are registered for free school meals.

All schools, educational and childcare facilities will reopen as normal the day after strike action takes place.

The scheduled strike action is the latest in a series of strikes which took place in November and December.

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