Back to school, or not? Pupils could be out of lessons at Sinfin Community school Derby due to teacher strike action.
Pupils returning to a Derby school next week could find themselves out of lessons almost immediately if a planned teacher strike action goes ahead.
The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers told the head teacher and governing body at Sinfin Community School before the summer holiday it would take teacher strike action on September 5 and 6.
They are also upset the school is threatening to deduct pay for boycotting what members view as “pointless red-tape activities”.
Dave Wilkinson, NASUWT branch secretary, said he had written to the chairman of the school’s governing body, Nick Hollis, during the holiday.
“I offered to lift the strikes if the school withdrew its teacher-appraisal policy to allow more talks. But the chairman rang me to refuse the offer. But he did agree to a further meeting, which will take place on Monday, overseen by the city council.”
The new appraisal policy – including unannounced observations of staff – was introduced after the school was placed in special measures last February. The union argued that the blame for the school’s failure should not be on the teaching staff.
Last week, the school achieved its best GCSE results. A total of 42% of pupils achieved five or more A* to C grades – 2% higher than the Government target of 40%.
“Every day brings new evidence to support the NASUWT position that the governors’ punitive monitoring of teachers is completely unnecessary.”
There has already been teacher strike action over the monitoring issue – which the union described as “invasive”, inappropriate” and unacceptable” – and it partially closed the school on May 31.
“Since then, they have refused to attend after-school meetings and supervisory duties. The union is concerned that, under the new policy, teachers can be placed on a capability procedure, leading to dismissal if any standards are graded “inadequate”. Mr Wilkinson said: “A non-NASUWT member carried out a survey which showed extremely high levels of stress among teachers.”