Caerleon Comprehensive – learning days lost to strike.
Posted on Tuesday 3rd March 2020
The chair of governors, acting head teacher of Caerleon Comprehensive and Newport City Council are urging teachers to reconsider further strike action and consider the direct impact on pupils and their learning.
Caerleon Comprehensive School is not in a unique or disadvantaged position – it is the third highest funded school in Newport and last year received £5.3 million pound worth of core funding and a further £1.5 million pounds worth of grant funding from Welsh Government.
For the coming year, an extra £10.4 million has been ploughed into school budgets providing significant help for schools to tackle future pressures.
All days in school are vitally important and if this action continues, pupils will have lost eight days of education. The spring term is especially significant as pupils are required to complete coursework and prepare for examinations. There is no doubt pupils will be seriously disadvantaged if strike days continue – the time cannot simply be ‘made up’ during break and holiday time.
Schools and their governing body are responsible for how their budget is spent and for having appropriate staffing structures. Strike action will not change this position.
The current structure requires improvement. The council has supported the new structure put forward by the governing body, which will make it less management-heavy. Staff who are not successful in securing a future leadership post will receive three years of equivalent pay.
While class sizes will grow slightly, they will not be significantly larger than other schools in Newport or across Wales.
Funding comparisons have been made with other schools in Newport and some in other council areas. However, this is misleading. Other schools in the city receive more funding due to a higher number of pupils entitled to free school meals or more pupils with special educational needs.
In other areas, schools are required to deliver additional services and costs directly from their budget, that in Newport are held centrally.
Also, to give context, to date there have been two proposed compulsory redundancies across the whole of the city among a school workforce of 1,438 teachers and 2,062 support staff.
To date, staff at the school have received no loss of earnings linked to their strike action. Pupils however have lost a substantial amount of time in the classroom. We hope that teaching staff reconsider their current position and return to the classroom to support pupils and the community of Caerleon.