Update on Strike Action

letter to parents 12-6-14

Dear Parents and Carers,

Update on Strike Action – Wednesday 18th June

When I wrote to you last week, one of the teaching unions had yet to make a final decision but I can now confirm that both the NAS/UWT and NUT are calling for teachers to strike on Wednesday 18th June in opposition to the forced academy process. As you know, school closure is always a last resort for us after we have carefully considered all options. On this occasion, although over half the teaching staff have not voted to take strike action, I cannot guarantee that I can operate safely with reduced staffing and therefore school will be closed for all pupils. I feel I need to emphasise the extremely difficult position my staff have faced because of the enforced academy process. I can assure you that their priority, like mine is to provide the best education for the pupils in our care and so, although this day of action may cause you disruption, I hope you understand the reasons behind it.

Some staff who are not involved in the day of action are keen to work with Year 10 pupils on this day to provide additional GCSE support. If this involves your child, your will be notified separately by the member of staff. This may be for the full day or for part of the day.

As it is almost exactly a year on from our last Ofsted inspection I would like to update you about the significant progress we have made. HMI monitoring visits have shown what a good job we are doing as a school and this summer’s exam results will confirm just how much we have improved. I want you all to be confident that we are in good shape and determined to keep working until we provide the outstanding level of education that our wonderful children deserve.

I have strived to remain neutral throughout the discussions and consultations around academy conversion and potential sponsor that have dominated recent months in order to focus on what matters most: leading this school forward and putting pupils first. It has been an extremely difficult period for everyone and I am well aware that efforts to persuade people of a particular point of view have resulted in misinformation being thrown around in a way that must have caused staff, pupils and parents a great deal of upset.

We expect to have a decision from the education minister sometime next week and I will notify you as quickly as possible and publish the consultation report on the school website. Whatever the outcome, my aim will be to keep us moving forward and to maintain the distinct and special identity of Darwen Vale High School. I look forward to being in a position to talk with certainty about the future and to involve you and the pupils in whatever becomes the next stage for our school.

Your understanding, patience and support are, as always, very much appreciated.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Fiona Jack