School summer concert cancelled due to teacher strike

Sir Harry Smith Community College

Sir Harry Smith Community College

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A summer concert at a Whittlesey school has been cancelled due to a teacher strike next week.

Sir Harry Smith Community College in Eastrea Road will be closed to pupils on Tuesday, July 5, with the exception of some in Year 10 and Year 12.

The strike demands by the National Union of Teachers are to “increase funding to schools and education, guarantee terms and conditions in all types of schools, and to resume negotiations on teacher contracts to allow workload to be addressed.”

Dawn White, associate principal at the college, wrote to parents saying: “Unfortunately, we have no option but to cancel the Summer Concert that was due to take place on the evening of Tuesday 5th July due to staff shortages.

“We are unable to reschedule this before the end of the academic year.”

Tickets for the concert are being refunded.

The school has, though, confirmed other events on the day are going ahead, such as the Peterborough Schools Athletics Championships, and a Year 11 English trip to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

The associate principal added: “One frequently asked question by parents is why we cannot simply use other teachers to cover for those teachers who are on strike.

“There are two main reasons for this: firstly, the other teachers have their own classes to teach and there would not be nearly enough of them free during any one lesson to cover the number of teachers who may go on strike; and secondly, schools are strongly advised not to ask members of other unions to cover for teachers who are on strike as to do so could create a very difficult situation within the College.

“We are sorry for the disruption that the strike will cause to your families and to your child’s education, but we hope that by giving you sufficient notice, we have given you adequate opportunity to arrange childcare, where necessary.

“We must all hope that the issues over which the industrial action has arisen are resolved as soon as possible.”