All council-run primary, secondary and special schools in South Ayrshire will be closed to pupils on Thursday, November 24, the local authority has confirmed.

A nationwide ballot of teaching Trade Unions has resulted in an announcement of industrial action by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) and the Association of Heads and Deputes in Scotland (AHDS), with the first day of industrial action taking place on this date.

Only school teaching staff are affected by the industrial action, however, given the impact on the council's ability to deliver education, the decision has been taken to keep pupils off that day.

A letter has been issued to parents and carers by Linda McAulay-Griffiths, chief education officer and head of education, advising of the planned walkout.

A South Ayrshire Council statement said: "Arrangements will be put in place to ensure that pupils entitled to a free school meal will still be able to get one on November 24.

"The council’s five standalone early years centres listed below will not be affected by the industrial action, and will operate as normal:

  • Cherry Tree Early Years Centre
  • Girvan Early Years Centre
  • Prestwick North Early Years Centre
  • Space Place Early Years Centre
  • Wallacetown Early Years Centre."

Speaking on Friday, Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the Scottish Government is “absolutely determined” to find alternative funding for the teacher pay deal.

She told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “When we met the trade unions yesterday, along with Cosla, there was a clear understanding from everyone in the room that no-one wanted to get to the stage where there was industrial action.

“No-one wants to see that because we all appreciate the huge disruption that children and young people have faced over the past few years.

“That’s why as a Scottish Government, we’re absolutely determined to see what we can do, to see if there’s additional funding that we can provide to Cosla to allow Cosla as the employers to provide an enhanced pay offer.

“I very much hope teachers would be able to look at that offer, take it to its members and we could not have industrial action.

“The industrial action is not inevitable and I would absolutely urge, as we’ve done with all the trade union colleagues today, to keep up that constructive dialogue and make sure we’re doing everything we can to avoid that.”