Horsham school closures still not clear

IT’S still not clear how many schools will close across the Horsham district with less than 48 hours until the biggest public sector strikes since 1926.

Residents are bracing for a day of chaos as hundreds of people march in protest against proposed changes to pensions.

The West Sussex Teachers’ Association claim their pensions are being ‘robbed’, and invite anyone concerned about the ‘savage cuts’ to support the market town rally.

Protesters will march at 10am from the bandstand in Horsham Park, before taking to the Maderia Avenue Conservative headquarters and finishing at the Carfax bandstand.

But so far, less than ten schools in the district have announced their closure.

A website page has been launched by West Sussex County Council designed to give residents warning and advice on service disruptions as a result of national industrial action - sure to affect thousands across the county.

The council say pages will be regularly updated and will include details of any schools closures.

Such decisions are made by headteachers in conjunction with governing bodies.

The council has been reviewing and updating business continuity plans for all its services, and has said it will do its utmost to ensure as little disruption as possible for the county’s most vulnerable residents.

Schools that have announced official closure through the council website include: St Andrew’s CofE Primary School, Nuthurst; All Saints CofE Primary School, Horsham; Leechpool Primary School, Horsham; Steyning Grammar School, Steyning; Holy Trinity CofE Primary School, Horsham and; Shelley Primary School, Horsham.

Louise Goldsmith, WSCC leader, said: “If industrial action does take place, we will ensure that as much information is made available as possible to residents through the website, and as many other channels as possible including our local media.

“We must stress again that this is a national dispute over pensions that can only be settled at national level, and we hope a resolution will be found nationally that both matches the country’s economic circumstances and also the aspirations of staff working in local government and the public sector generally.”

How will the strikes affect you? The County Times would like to hear from anyone whose day will be severely disrupted, or your reasons for taking part in the strikes. Email ollie.mcateer@sussexnewspapers.co.uk, follow us on Twitter @wscountytimes or voice your opinion on the Horsham News and Views Facebook page.