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School closures in Ceredigion due to March 2 strikes

EIGHT Ceredigion schools will be partially closed during Thursday’s strikes by teachers.

Members of the National Education Union here will walk out on March 2 after rejecting the Welsh Government’s latest pay rise offer. More strikes are scheduled for March 15 and 16.

The NEU rejected a recent government pay offer as “simply not good enough” to help teachers through the current economic problems.

During a previous strike at the beginning of February, eight Ceredigion schools were partially closed, while seven Pembrokeshire schools closed and 16 were partially closed.

The eight schools partially closed in Ceredigion – the same as during the previous strike – are: Ysgol Ceinewydd, Ysgol Comins Coch, Ysgol Llwyn yr Eos, Ysgol Gynradd Aberteifi, Ysgol Padarn Sant, Ysgol Uwchradd Aberaeron, Ysgol Penglais and Ysgol Bro Pedr.

Neighbouring Pembrokeshire is expecting four closures and 16 partial closures during the March 2 strikes.

Headteacher at Aberystwyth’s Ysgol Penglais, Hayley Leighton, in a letter to parents, said: “Due to the number of members of staff taking industrial action, we are not able to open the school to all students on Thursday, March 2.

“The school will be therefore closed to all students in Year 7, 8, 9 and 10. Teachers who are not taking industrial action will place work on Teams for students to complete.

“Students in Years 11, 12 and 13 are expected to come into school to work and to attend lessons of the teachers who are not taking industrial action.”

NEU joint general-secretary Kevin Courtney said the union had postponed strikes on Valentine’s Day “in good faith” while its members weighed up the government’s improved offer.

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But teachers had since “emphatically informed us that the offer of an additional 1.5 per cent added to teachers’ pay, plus an additional 1.5 per cent lump-sum, is simply not good enough and fails to address either the cost-of-living crisis, spiralling inflation, nor the damage done to pay since 2010”, he said.

“We have a clear mandate for strike action that is now rescheduled for March 2 in schools across Wales,” Mr Courtney added.

The Welsh Government has defended the offer as “a strong one” in the context of a “reducing” budget for the devolved administration.