Interested in joining Sixth Form at Holcombe Grammar School in September 2024?

To apply, please click here.

NEU Strike Updates

Industrial Actions by the National Education Union (NEU)

January 27, 2023 11:41am

As you may be aware, on Monday 16th January, the National Education Union (NEU) confirmed that its members will be striking over pay on four separate days in February and March. I am now writing to inform you about what this means for Holcombe and how it will impact your child.

Currently, strikes that will impact Holcombe are scheduled to take place on the below dates:

Wednesday 1st February (All schools in England and Wales)
Thursday 2nd March (Schools in London, South East, South West)
Wednesday 15th March (All schools in England and Wales)
Thursday 16th March (All schools in England and Wales)

At this stage I am planning for the strike action on Wednesday 1st February only and so the plans set out below only describe what we will be doing on this date. We may replicate these plans on the other dates in March, or we may amend our plans for those dates. I will contact you nearer the time with an update on how those later days will work.

Striking is the right of every teacher who is part of a union and is a personal choice, which we respect as an academy and Trust. The rules around striking are that staff are not obliged to declare in advance if they will be taking strike action on the day, so until the day is here I will not know how many staff will be in school. As approximately 50% of the teaching staff here are in the NEU this makes planning for the days a challenge. As the Academy’s Principal it is my primary responsibility to ensure our students receive the highest standard of education and care in a safe environment. With such uncertainty around which staff and how many staff will be on site, I cannot therefore allow every student to come on to site on this day.

Over the past few weeks I have been working with my leadership team to develop plans to ensure that we are able to minimise disruption for our students. Therefore, I am pleased to say that on Wednesday 1st February:

Year 13 should attend school as normal

  • They should register in the Hive at 8:40 and will go to normal timetabled lessons throughout the day, if their teacher is in school
  • If their teacher for any particular lesson is not in school, they will work in the Hive on independent study / revision etc


Year 11 should attend school as normal

  • They have prelim examinations for English and Maths that day and these will go ahead
  • When not in examinations they will be supervised and should bring revision materials to school


Year 10 are on Work Experience

  • If they have a work experience placement, they should continue to attend that placement on the 1st February
  • If their work experience placement is a school or another institution affected by the strike then they may be advised by that placement to not attend on that day. In that scenario, they should remain at home on the day.
  • Any students who have not arranged a work experience placement for next week will be in school next week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. However, they should remain at home on Wednesday 1st February.


Years 7, 8, 9, and 12

  • All students in years 7,8,9 and 12 (and those Year 10s who do not have a work experience placement) will need to stay at home and will be expected to work on Teams.
  • Tasks will be set on Teams for these students to complete. This will likely be a combination of tasks set from some lessons that they would have had on the day, and some generic tasks which we will set that all students can work through.
  • Some teachers may be available via the chat function on teams to offer advice and support, but this will depend on exactly what happens on the day. Students should not therefore rely on this, but should complete the work that is set.


Exceptions to this plan

  • We will contact a very small number of parents/ carers where we feel it is best for an individual student to be in school for very specific circumstances. If we agree that that student should be in school then we will do our best to accommodate them on the day. They will be supervised in a computer room, completing the work on Teams which other students will complete from home.
  • If any parent / carer is a critical worker then in exceptional circumstances only we will try to accommodate your child in school. If you would like to send your child into school, please contact Miss Gould on to discuss these circumstances. I must emphasise though that we will likely only have the capacity to support a very small number of students so we will only be agreeing to this in exceptional circumstances.


I am told that, as of today, the MY9 Bus service and the Abbey coach service will be running on this date for those small numbers of students who will be in school. If you use either service, I would advise you contact them yourself to clarify the exact plans for the day.

We will continue to communicate with you and keep you updated on the arrangements or any changes to the planned strike action.

Finally, I want to thank you for being so supportive as part of the school community in what is another challenging period. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at school in the usual way.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Lee Preston
Holcombe Grammar School