Schools have been told to recruit a ‘volunteer workforce’ to make sure they can stay open during next month’s national strike.
Updated DfE guidance to more than 21,000 state schools in England states that headteachers should “take all reasonable steps to keep the school open for as many pupils as possible”, The Telegraph reports.
It recommends a range of measures designed to break the NUT’s national strike on the 26th March, including recruiting an army of volunteers – parents, members of the local community, scout group helpers and sports coaches. As long as they have a criminal record check they will be able to “work unsupervised with children”. Retired headteachers can be brought in to cover for any heads who are taking part in the industrial action.
The guidance praises schools that have brought in a football coaching business and a theatre company to deliver whole-school activities, covering the cost by deducting a day’s pay from striking teachers. It advises headteachers to consider dropping the national curriculum during the strike and merging classes together, to ensure pupils can remain in school during the industrial action.
What do you think of the DfE’s strike busting guidance? Is it a justified move to avoid disrupting pupils’ education or a provocative move?