Schools prepare for strike action on Thursday June 30

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SCHOOLS across the area will be disrupted on Thursday as dozens of teachers strike in a row over planned Government changes to their pension.

The National Union of Teachers, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, University and College Union and the Public and Commercial Services Union will be on the picket lines.

Seventeen teachers from Catmose College in Oakham are expected to be on strike, about a third of the teaching staff.

Classes will be running for pupils in Years 7 and 8 but those in Years 9 and 10 will get the day off. Year 11 pupils have already finished because of their exams.

Principal Stuart Williams said about 250 pupils would be affected.

He said: “We are going to have to partially close the college although we have done all we can to minimise the disruption.

“We can only apologise to parents for the inconvenience.”

Southfield Primary School, which is federated with Catmose College, will not be affected.

There is also expected to be disruption at The Deepings School.

Headteacher Chris Beckett said: “We are looking to see what the impact will be but we will be open for the vast majority of children. We will try to keep disruption to a minimum.”

The Robert Manning College in Bourne is also expecting there to be an impact.

Uppingham Community College, Casterton Business Enterprise College, Rutland County College, Stamford Queen Eleanor School and Bourne Grammar School all said they were not going to be largely affected because they didn’t have a significant number of union members participating in the strike.

It is not yet known whether primary schools will be affected.

Union members said the reason for the strike action was because the Government wanted to teachers to pay more for pensions, work longer but get less money overall.

NUT divisional secretary for Lincolnshire Ken Rustege said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response, I have never known anything like it. There is such a strong feeling.

“I hope that the government can see reason and we can talk about it. Nothing has been discussed with us.”

Rutland liaison officer for the NUT Pauline Town added: “With jobs going as well, it is a very grim picture for teachers.”

During the NUT ballot, 92 per cent voted in favour of strike action on a 40 per cent turnout.

In the ATL, 83 per cent of members voted for strike action on a 35 per cent turnout.

Branch secretary for Leicester John Bellamy said: “Strike action for us is a last resort because we would much rather solve problems by negotiations and discussions but the Government has refused to negotiate or discuss.”

Lincolnshire branch secretary for the ATL Joyce Frost said: “Young teachers will think twice about coming into the profession and experienced teachers will leave. It is a very worrying situation.”

Rutland members from all the unions are being encouraged to attend a rally in Victoria Park, Leicester, called Picnic in the Park, while Lincolnshire union members are invited to a rally at the Stag’s Head in Newport, Lincoln.

No-on e from Lincolnshire County Council or Rutland County Council will be participating in the strikes.

Up to 750,000 civil servants, teachers and lecturers are expected to be on the picket lines across the country.

Unison, Unite and the NASUWT unions are not taking part in the industrial action.