Third day of strike action planned at Year 10 taster day

NUT Picket outside Sussex Downs College SUS-150625-094109001
NUT Picket outside Sussex Downs College SUS-150625-094109001

Prospective students arriving at Sussex Downs College today for a taster day look set to be met by striking teachers on picket lines.

Year 10 secondary school pupils from across Eastbourne are due at the college today to decide where to continue their education when they leave school next year.

But members of the National Union of Teachers are planning a day of action in protest at cuts to jobs and courses.

Talks between the union and SDC management were ongoing as the Gazette went to press in a bid to avoid the action.

Phil Clarke, the secretary of Lewes, Eastbourne and Wealden NUT, said, “We are glad Sussex Downs management is again talking to the NUT about trying to avoid these strikes.

“We hope discussions before the strike can be successful and the prospective students’ day can go ahead undisrupted. However if this is not the case, members are prepared to take action to defend jobs and educational provision at the college and extend that action after the summer break if necessary.”

A petition launched by the union against cuts and redundancies on the day of the strike last week gathered more than 500 signatures within 24 hours.

Mr Clarke said, “On picket lines last week striking teachers were approached by students signed up to the college who had been told the courses they had applied for and expected to be on in September have been cancelled because of the cuts.”

The union says cuts being brought in will severely undermining educational provision in Eastbourne, major A-Level courses won’t be run in Eastbourne at SDC including all foreign languages, students are being told courses won’t run just weeks before starting, the college library is to close, the counselling service cut completely and teachers are losing their jobs.

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