Will strikes close your child's school and when?

Thousands of janitors, cleaners, caterers, classroom assistants and administrative staff, will walk out in an ongoing dispute over pay.

September Scottish school strikes: Will walk outs close your child’s primary or secondary and when? Getty Images

Schools across Scotland are set to close for three days as staff strike over pay.

Thousands of janitors, cleaners, caterers, classroom assistants and administrative staff, will walk out in the last week of September.

Most primary and secondary schools in Scotland face closures from Tuesday, September 26, to Thursday, September 28.

A new pay offer was tabled by Scotland’s local council body COSLA on Wednesday, September 13.

But it has been rejected by the largest union, Unison, which described the revisions to it as ‘miniscule’ and ‘insulting’.

Will your child’s school close?

Unison’s strike action will affect schools in 24 councils, while GMB and Unite’s will affect ten. A total of 26 of Scotland’s 32 councils will see disruption.

STV News asked each council about the strikes in their areas.


An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: “Aberdeen City schools will be impacted by the strike action and some may require to be closed.

“All city schools are in the process of undertaking risk assessments to determine next steps. Communications will be sent to parents and carers about the specific arrangements for each school.”


An Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson said: “Our Education and Children’s Services will be discussing the implications and will be communicating to schools in due course.”


An Angus Council spokesperson said: “We will be developing plans for the proposed industrial action and will communicate arrangements to parents and carers in due course.”


A spokesperson for Clackmannanshire Council said: “At this stage the council is reviewing what impact the strikes may have on services.

“The council will communicate contingency plans with the individuals affected in advance of any industrial action.”

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

“If all members participate in the strike action across the Western isles, it is forecast to result in a full closure of all 22 of our schools to pupils,” a council spokesperson said.

Dumfries and Galloway

“Following the result of the Unison ballot we have been advised that they intend to call members to take part in industrial action,” a council spokesperson said.

“The intended dates for members to take part in discontinuous strike action are September 26 to September 28, 2023.

“We are currently assessing the impact this will have on services and contingency arrangements are being planned.

“We will update families and pupils with information as soon as possible.”


A Dundee City Council spokesperson said: “We will assess the protentional impact this action could have on our schools and will update families as soon as possible.”

East Dunbartonshire

Ann Davie, depute chief executive of East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “We are currently making arrangements for the proposed industrial action after receiving official notification from the trade unions and will communicate to those affected as soon as possible.”

East Renfrewshire

A spokesperson for East Renfrewshire Council said: “We have been notified by our trade union partners of their intention to strike and we are drawing up plans to deal with the impact this will cause.”


A spokesperson for the City of Edinburgh Council said: “We’re currently reviewing our contingency arrangements ahead of the planned industrial action.”


“We have received confirmation of the dates yesterday and are now working through our assessments for each school to determine any appropriate action we need to take,” a council spokesperson said.


“​​We are assessing the potential impact this action could have in Fife ​and will work ​to minimise the effect of this locally,” Fife Council’s head of HR Sharon McKenzie said.

“However, at this point we cannot rule out closures of school buildings to pupils during any industrial action.”


A council spokeswoman said: “We have received notification and education officials will be working on contingency plans. We will update our families as soon as we can.”


A Highland Council spokesperson said: “The council is currently assessing the mandate Unison have for strike action for early years and school support staff and what impact this will have on schools across the Highlands.”


“The strike will cause disruption to schools and some early years settings in Inverclyde,” a council spokesperson said.

“Each school will carry out a full and robust risk assessment and will contact parents about their ability to open on the identified strike days.


“Our teams will assess the situation and advise schools, ELC settings, parents and carers of any implications as soon as is practicably possible,” a council spokesperson said.

North Ayrshire

A spokesperson for North Ayrshire Council said: “We are continuing to closely monitor the situation with regard to the pay offer for local government employees. “It would be inappropriate, at this stage, to comment further.”

North Lanarkshire

A council spokesperson said: “We have been notified by Unite the Union that its members will carry out strike action at schools and early learning facilities between September 26 and 29, 2023.

“We are currently assessing the impact this will have on services and will update families and pupils with information as soon as possible.”


Orkney Islands Council said its education service was preparing for disruption, and school closures.

James Wylie, corporate director of education, leisure and housing, said: “We are at present assessing the likely impact in each school, taking into account a range of factors, including the need to provide a safe environment for children and young people.

“Parents and carers will be notified directly about the impact on their schools, alerting them to the need to make alternate childcare plans on the days their child(ren)’s school will be affected.”

Perth and Kinross

A Perth and Kinross Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the intended industrial action as part of a national dispute over pay. We care continuing to monitor the situation.”


“We are working through implications and will communicate directly with parents and carers shortly,” a council spokesperson said.


A Shetland Islands Council spokesperson said: “We will assess the impact this industrial action will have on our schools and inform parents and carers as soon as we have details.”

South Ayrshire

A spokesperson for South Ayrshire Council said: “We’re aware of the planned strike action in South Ayrshire later this month. We’re currently looking at the implications for our schools and will update parents, carers and staff early next week.”

South Lanarkshire

A spokesperson for South Lanarkshire Council said: “We are aware of the intention by unions to hold industrial action later this month.

“We are currently assessing the potential impact this will have on our schools and will communicate any changes to the school day through our normal channels once we have gathered the necessary information.”


A Stirling Council spokesperson said: “We are in contact with our schools and early learning settings on preparations for any potential disruption. Arrangements based on these discussions will be confirmed in due course.”

West Dunbartonshire

“We are aware of the dates of the planned strike and are currently assessing how this might impact upon our schools,” a council spokesperson said.

“We will continue to liaise with trade unions while we await the outcome of ongoing negotiations.”