20th Aug, 2019

Shirley teachers set to strike

Sarah Mason 11th Feb, 2019 Updated: 12th Feb, 2019

TEACHERS at Light Hall School in Solihull will be taking the first of five planned days of strike action tomorrow (February 12).

Members of NASUWT – The Teachers Union at the Hathaway Road school are set to take to the picket line for two hours in the morning.

This action is as a result of unfair pay and performance management practices and the adverse management culture in which they are expected to work which is impacting on teachers’ health and wellbeing, the union says.

Debbie Hayton, NASUWT national executive member for Solihull, said: “The NASUWT members at Light Hall have not made the decision to strike lightly, but their patience has been exhausted.

“They apologise for any disruption to pupils and parents but hope they will understand how serious the situation is.

“They are striking for their right to be treated as skilled professionals and to be shown respect in the workplace.

“We urge the employer to recognise the strength of feeling among teachers at the school and to work with us to address the issues around pay and working practices.”

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “Teachers at Light Hall have been placed in a position where they feel they have no alternative but to take strike action in order to secure their right to be treated with dignity at work.

“The NASUWT and our members have made every effort to seek to resolve the issues without recourse to industrial action. However, the Employer has failed to come forward with positive strategies.

“The NASUWT members are dedicated and committed teachers who care about the pupils they teach.

“The last thing they wanted to do was to take strike action.

“Unfortunately it appears this is the only way to ensure the Employer takes seriously their concerns.

“Further action can be avoided if the Employer commits to engaging genuinely with us to resolve these matters.”

Headteacher Annette Kimblin said: “A small minority of teachers at Light Hall have chosen to strike regarding performance management. The school has quality assurance procedures.

“Their purpose is simple: to ensure the highest standards of delivery are maintained and that there is equality and consistency of educational provision for all our young people.

“Teachers should, through their teaching and subject knowledge, enable students to make progress in line with the progress made by students of similar ability, nationally Light Hall School and governors are very disappointed about the industrial action because there is an appeal process for teacher appraisals, which nobody has used before striking.

“Several meetings have taken place between the unions and the school leaders and governors in a bid to understand the source of complaint. So far as the School has been asked to modify some aspects of its Appraisal Policy, it has agreed to do so. The outstanding issues remain unclear.

“Light Hall enlisted the help of a mediator through ACAS. ACAS reports that it was unable to

establish a response from the unions. Nevertheless, the School will continue to engage with

ACAS and seek to engage with the unions, in order to resolve the situation as soon as possible

and minimise disruption to the School and teaching.”

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