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Industrial action forced school closures across Bridgend County Borough

Bridgend County Borough Council's Civic Offices on Angel Street (Pic: Bridgend County Borough Council)

Industrial action by the National Education Union (NEU) resulted in the closure of 23 primary schools, eight secondary schools and two special schools on Wednesday 1 February in Bridgend County Borough.

A further 16 primary schools and one special school were only partially open as a result of the industrial action, and nine primaries and one secondary school remained open as normal.

The strike marked the first of four planned days of industrial action, with further disruption to services likely to affect schools on Tuesday 14 February, and Wednesday 15 – Thursday 16 March 2023.

On each of the strike days, schools will make a decision on whether they can stay open or not based upon factors such as staff supervision levels, risk assessments, safeguarding and their own individual context.

While all schools will aim to inform parents about potential closures at least three working days before any industrial action takes place, some schools may make a decision to remain open or to close on the day of the proposed strike.

Pupils eligible for free school meals will be given a packed lunch the day before the proposed strike, if the school has decided to close in advance. If the headteacher decides to close the school prior to lunchtime on the day of the strike, eligible pupils will receive a packed lunch to take home. 

Although school transport for eligible pupils will continue to run as normal (unless a school has decided to close prior to the day of planned industrial action), a responsible adult such as a parent or carer should be available at short notice to collect children from primary or additional needs schools. This may be because a school or year group will be forced to close due to staff supervision levels. 

Councillor Jon-Paul Blundell, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “Pupils, parents and carers are being kept up to date on latest developments around the industrial action, and schools are liaising with them directly to make sure that everyone is informed.

“Every effort is being made to minimise disruption while the industrial action is underway, and the ongoing welfare of local children remains our top priority.”