megaphone icon updated on 18 January 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 45757

Get your head around your requirements and options for keeping your school safely open during staff strikes. Download and adapt our risk assessment to help you decide if you need to close.

What are the rules around strikes?

What's expected of the headteacher

The DfE expects you to take “all reasonable steps” to keep your school open for as many pupils as possible during strikes. This is set out on page 5 of the guidance on handling strike action in schools

However, you also have a responsibility to look after pupils on the school site. If you don’t have the staff to safely open your school, including making sure you can carry out safeguarding, you may have to close or partially close.

Who can decide to close the school?

Maintained schools: the headteacher.

Academies: the academy trust, but it can be delegated to the headteacher(s).

There's no hard and fast rule about when a school has to be closed (unless you're an early years setting – see below).

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