Parents clash with striking teachers at Dunston Primary School

Parents protest outside Dunston Primary School.
Parents protest outside Dunston Primary School.

Protesting parents have called on teachers to stop striking over a controversial appraisal policy – and return to the classroom.

Teachers at Dunston Primary School in Chesterfield have been walking out over what they claim are “intrusive and unnecessary” classroom observations.

This morning about 20 placard-waving parents clashed with NASUWT members on the picket line at the Dunston Lane school and urged them to get on with their jobs.

Parent Gemma Cuff said: “We want these teachers to stop striking and return to the classroom – every professional has to have appraisals.

“It’s not fair on the children – there’s a lot of disruption and they’re getting upset.”

Earlier this year the Government introduced new regulations enabling Dunston Primary School to carry out unlimited classroom observations.

The NASUWT is urging the school to have no more than three hours of observations a year.

Dave Wilkinson, from the NASUWT’S Derbyshire branch, said: “The appraisal policy is intrusive, unnecessary and detracts teachers from teaching and raising standards.”

Chris Keates, head of the NASUWT, added: “Our members love their jobs and they want to get on with their jobs.

“No child’s education has been disrupted by the action – teachers have continued to plan and prepare for lessons and carry out all activities.”

Since the end of November teachers at Dunston Primary School have walked out several times.

The NASUWT will meet with school chiefs tomorrow in a bid to avert more strike action.

Paul Burgess, headteacher of Dunston Primary School, said he supported the Government’s guidelines and added they were in the interests of pupils and teachers.

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