Both middle schools in Berwick to close for day due to planned strike action

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Berwick Middle School and Tweedmouth Middle School will be closed tomorrow (Thursday, June 6) due to planned strike action.

As part of the switch to a two-tier system as approved by Northumberland County Council’s cabinet last year, these two schools and Glendale Middle School in Wooler will close on August 31, 2026.

The NASUWT union said in March that the closures put all 142 staff in the middle schools at risk of not having a job when the process is completed – with only 60 jobs available to apply for after the restructure of education in the Berwick Partnership – and said that its members were “prepared to take industrial action”.

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And now this action is set to go ahead, with Berwick and Tweedmouth confirming that they will be closed tomorrow.

Berwick Middle School and Tweedmouth Middle School.Berwick Middle School and Tweedmouth Middle School.
Berwick Middle School and Tweedmouth Middle School.

In announcing the strike action, the union claims that the council is refusing to consider either redeployment or voluntary redundancy schemes for affected teachers.

In addition, joint action is set to be taken with the National Education Union at Glendale. As of 2.45pm this afternoon (Wednesday), the school told the Gazette that a decision has yet to be taken on whether Glendale Middle School will be open or closed tomorrow.

A post on the Berwick Middle School Facebook page said: “Due to strike action, Berwick Middle School will be closed to all students this Thursday 6th June 2024 for one day.

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“Please be aware that other strike days may occur in the near future and we will try and give you as much notice as possible as to when these days will be. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

From September 2025, the partnership’s first schools will expand their age range up to 11 to become primary schools and Berwick Academy will become an age 11 to 18 secondary academy from September 2026.

Further days of strike action are planned for June 11, 13, 18, 19 and 20.

John Hall, NASUWT National Executive Member for Northumberland, said: “Teachers at all three schools have been left in limbo, not knowing what the future holds for them and their careers.

“This reorganisation should be an opportunity to strengthen education provision locally, not undermine it by losing dozens of experienced teachers.”

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