Teachers at a Chesterfield school are to go on strike over concerns about staff treatment and a lack of pupil discipline which has allegedly led to members of staff resigning or going off work with stress.
The strike action at Hasland Hall Community School will take place on Tuesday, July 9 and Tuesday, July 16.
A spokesperson for teaching union the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) said the walk-out is in response to the staff workloads, student’s indiscipline and concerns about attitudes to staff safety.
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Staff have also raised concerns about how complaints are being dealt with and claim in recent years scores of members of staff have resigned or gone off work with stress. They have highlighted examples of poor student behaviour and issues around:
- Concerns over the way assaults on staff are handled
- Frequent use of abusive language
- Pupils leaving lessons and wandering around the school disrupting lessons
- Smoking on school site
- Refusing to obey uniform rules
- Serious disruption of lessons
In a letter to parents, headteacher Ruth Moore said the union had cited ‘teacher workload, working practices and student indiscipline’ as the reason for the strike action.
In a statement sent to the Derbyshire Times, Ms Moore, said: “We are very disappointed about the NASUWT decision to take strike action.
“School leaders have worked hard to engage with and work closely with students, staff and all trade unions to address any concerns when they have arisen and to effectively manage and make improvements in these areas.”
She added that four meetings have already been held with county representatives of NASUWT to try to address concerns and prevent strike action and that further conversations are anticipated. As a result of the strike action, the school will only be open to Year 8 pupils on Tuesday.
Ms Moore said: “I appreciate that this could cause inconvenience for families and I’d like to apologise. Parents have been informed that if they have particular difficulties with child-care arrangements for the day, they should contact the school to see if there is something that we can do in school to help. The decision to partly shut the school has not been taken lightly and has considered the well-being of the students, their families and the school staff. I would like to reassure you that we will continue to do all we can to avoid the strike action. “
A spokesperson for the NASUWT union said: “Strike action is a last resort for dedicated and committed teachers but there has been a failure by the employer to take seriously their professional concerns over the way in which they are being managed and working practices within the school.
“Teachers have a right to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace and to have working conditions which reflect their role as skilled professionals. The NASUWT urges the employer to work with us to resolve this dispute so that the planned industrial action can be avoided.”
A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “We’re aware of the planned strike action at Hasland Hall Community School and this matter is being managed by the school’s leadership team.”