What kind of message are we sending?

I WAS disgusted to read in the April 10 edition of the Mercury on page five that some local schools are to close on April 24. It seems that teachers belonging to the National

I WAS disgusted to read in the April 10 edition of the Mercury on page five that some local schools are to close on April 24. It seems that teachers belonging to the National Union of Teachers are planning to use this day to stage strike action as they wish to gain a 2.45 per cent pay deal.Firstly I am upset that Worle Community School, which my daughter attends in year 8, is one earmarked for such a protest, although your article does state that it may not affect all year groups. However, it would have been decent of Worle school to inform the parents instead of us reading it in the local newspaper. Whilst I appreciate teachers feel their pay is not a reflection of either their workload, or in line with inflation, I am concerned about the consequences of such action on vulnerable schoolchildren. What kind of a message are we sending them when taking them out of school for any length of time is recorded as unauthorised absence, but they are able to do just this when it suits? Since January 1 this year up until the end of April, my children will have attended 64 school days; only 63 if this strike takes place. My belief is that our children already do not learn enough and have far too much time off for inset and half term breaks. Furthermore, as Steve Sinnott rightly quoted in your article, 'our children deserve the best'. This action will not back up this statement. As a working mother it is becoming increasingly difficult juggling work and childcare, particularly when this year we have had the addition of the separate Easter break. I am luckier than most as I am able to request shifts around six weeks in advance. However, I haven't even been given this option this time. Yes, take action if you feel the need. However there are better ways of doing it than ruining my daughter's education.JULIE BENDALL - Via email


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