Yet more strikes at town school?

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A union chief has warned of more strike action at a school in the new year after talks broke down.

Since the end of November, teachers at Dunston Primary School in Chesterfield have walked out several times over what they claim are “intrusive and unnecessary” classroom observations.

Chiefs from teachers’ union the NASUWT met with school and county council bosses shortly before Christmas in a bid to avert more strikes – but both sides failed to reach an agreement.

Dave Wilkinson, from the NASWUT’s Derbyshire branch, claimed the county council had been “particularly obstructive”.

Mr Wilkinson said that more strike action was planned for the third week in January but stressed: “There is an opportunity for more talks to reach an agreement before then.”

A spokesman for Derbyshire County Council said: “We are very disappointed by the continuing strike action by NASUWT teachers at Dunston Primary School.

“The way teachers are assessed has changed nationally and teachers in Derbyshire are being treated no differently to anywhere else in the country.

“Key Stage 2 results at Dunston have been disappointing and Ofsted inspectors have said teaching is not good enough.

“Assessment helps to identify good practice and support staff to improve their skills.

“Our priority will always be to maintain high standards to make sure every child gets the best possible education.

“Strike action achieves nothing and we will continue to work to resolve the situation.”

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