Some Shenley Academy students have been told to stay at home as members of teachers’ union NASUWT take further strike action as a resolution has still not been found to concerns over ‘adverse management practices’ at the school.
The school is closed to Years 7, 8 and 9 for Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th October. A planned ‘Settling In’ Evening for Year 7 tonight has also been postponed.
Staff last carried out a one day strike at the school – an E-Act academy – in July.
Despite union representatives citing their “genuine willingness to engage and find a resolution” and the school head being ” keen to continue our discussions with the union as soon as possible”, the strike was confirmed as going ahead just yesterday.
Union General Secretary Chris Keates said:“Teachers deserve working conditions which reflect their role as skilled professionals and they have a right to be treated with dignity at work. Our members regret that they have been forced into taking strike action again at the school. ”
In a statement, Ms Keates said that – despite negotiations for a settlement – E-Act were failing to: “sustain the agreements reached and to implement changes that make a sustained and tangible improvement to working conditions.”
She added: “Our members are deeply frustrated. As dedicated and committed teachers they just want to get on with their job but the Employer is failing to address their concerns.
“The Union is entering into discussions in good faith with the senior management at the school but we need to be assured that decisions reached at these meetings will be honoured and that our members will see a real improvement in their working conditions.”
An E-Act spokesperson said: “Disappointingly, the union has been unable to meet with us to discuss the details of this two-day strike action. Furthermore, the offer of a meeting between all-staff at the academy, union officials and the chief executive of E-ACT has been declined. We are keen to continue our discussions with the union as soon as possible so that further disruption to our students’ education can be avoided.
“We have had open dialogue with union representatives and our staff on the issues most recently presented to us, including the offer of a marking working party, which the union has not yet responded to. We aim to continue to have open dialogue with union representatives and we remain committed to resolving these issues with them as soon as possible.
“We remain absolutely committed to continue to improve Shenley Academy so that we can provide every one of our students with the quality of education they deserve.”
Debbie Hayton, NASUWT National Executive Member for Birmingham, said that the culture at the school adversely affected the ability of staff to do their best for their pupils.
She said: “As a result of the management practices at the school many teachers left last term.”
In a letter to parents yesterday, headteacher Dr Jayne Bartlett wrote: “I appreciate that this notice comes very late in the day. The union has been unable to meet with us to discuss this two day action and we have just been notified that they intend to continue with strike action for the next two days. We are keen to continue our discussions with the union as soon as possible.”
Years 10 and 11 are still being accommodated at the school and work has been set for affected pupils to do at home.