Industrial Action update

Dear Parent/Carer,

Re: Industrial Action Update – Wednesday 1st March 2023

The National Education Union (NEU) announced on 16th January that their membership has voted in favour of industrial action. The second day of strike action is set to take place on Wednesday 1st March 2023. Please note that the following information only applies if the industrial action goes ahead – we felt it best to outline our plans well in advance. Should industrial action be called off, the school day on Wednesday 1st March should run as normal. We will write again if this is announced.

We have taken account of NEU membership numbers at Swanshurst, as well as local, regional and national information regarding the number of teachers taking industrial action earlier this month. To enable effective planning and delivery of as much education as possible for pupils, we have now begun to plan for 1st March. Today’s letter is to provide advanced information.

Will school be open to all pupils on 1st March?

If industrial action goes ahead, no. School will be open to Year 11, Year 13, for vulnerable pupils, those with an EHCP and for children of critical workers only. Year 11 and 13 will attend as normal, following either their normal timetable or a programme of examination master classes. Provision for vulnerable pupils, those with an EHCP and pupils whose parents/ carers are critical workers will be based in computer rooms where they will follow the work set online. All other pupils will be working at home on activities set via Edulink on the day.

What will happen for pupils who have GCSE NEAs (non-examination assessments)?

These pupils will be in school to complete their GCSE NEA activities as planned. Pupils due to complete these assessments on March 1st will be briefed and written to separately with the necessary information.

Will Free School Meals (FSM) be provided for eligible pupils?

Yes, as long as a meal has been requested in advance. For pupils who are eligible for FSM, we are able to offer a packed lunch for collection at 12:30pm on the day from The Hub. To request a packed lunch, you must complete the relevant section of the form linked below.

For pupils who are attending onsite provision, food will be provided by the canteen as normal at break and lunchtime.

How will places for on-site provision be allocated?

Year 11 and 13, all pupils are on site as normal following the normal timetable.

For vulnerable pupils, pastoral staff have identified those who should be offered a place in our on-site provision using the guidance provided by The Department for Education. Families of these pupils will be contacted over the coming days for places to be confirmed.

For pupils with an EHCP, pastoral or SEND staff will be in touch with families over the coming days for places to be confirmed.

For children of critical workers, we require parents/ carers to review the enclosed list which defines ‘critical worker’ status. If your role falls into this category and you require on-site provision for your child on 1st March, you must complete the relevant section of this form: Please note that on-site provision or an FSM packed lunch will not be provided unless this form is complete.

For pupils working at home, how will work be set?

For all other pupils, independent work from Oak National Academy or other resources will be set. Details of this will be provided shortly.

We hope this provides you with a helpful update on our plans. We will write again by no later than 28.02.23 with details of the work pupils should complete during the day on 1st March.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact school via

Yours faithfully,


Mr M Dunn

Head Teacher

List of recognised “Critical Workers”

Health and social care - This includes, but is not limited to: doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare - This includes:

• childcare

• support and teaching staff

• social workers

• specialist education professionals who must remain active during an emergency response to deliver this approach

Key public services - This includes:

• those essential to the running of the justice system

• religious staff

• charities and workers delivering key frontline services

• those responsible for the management of the deceased

• journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting

Local and national government - This only includes: those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of:

• an emergency response

• essential public services, such as the payment of benefits including in government agencies and Arm’s length bodies (ALB).

Food and other necessary goods - This includes those involved in food:

• production • processing

• distribution

• sale and delivery

• as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines)

Public safety and national security - This includes:

• police and support staff

• Ministry of Defence civilians

• contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to an emergency response)

• fire and rescue service employees (including support staff)

• National Crime Agency staff

• those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas

Transport - This includes: those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during an emergency response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services - This includes:

• staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure)

• the oil, gas, electricity, and water sectors (including sewerage)

• information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during an emergency response

• key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services)

• postal services and delivery

• payments providers

• waste disposal sectors

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