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Teachers at Castle Community College will not strike for the rest of term

Teachers at Castle Community College took a stand against “unacceptable working practices” by staging a one-day strike.

Members of the teaching union NASUWT did not work on Thursday.

But another one-day stoppage planned for Tuesday this week was called off after a successful meeting between union reps and the school management team.

Interim principal Jane Hadlow sent out the news in a letter to parents today
Interim principal Jane Hadlow sent out the news in a letter to parents today

Earlier, a spokesman for NASUWT said: “The action has been called as a result of unacceptable working practices.” However, following the meeting - described as “positive” - union members aborted strike action for the rest of the term.

In a letter to parents interim principal Jane Hadlow said: “We are pleased to confirm that following a very positive and successful meeting with union representatives on Thursday, there will be no further Discontinuous Strike Action (DSA) before the end of term. There are ongoing discussions and we are confident that all issues can be successfully resolved.”

NASUWT national executive member for Kent Mark Dickinson, who was at the meeting, said: “It’s still an ongoing discussion. At the meeting there was sufficient progress made that we could postpone this week’s strike and another meeting has been called for this Thursday.”

Teachers had also threatened to strike on Wednesday, November 5.

Mr Dickinson said: “The strike could still take place in November but we’re hoping that we can continue discussion and actually move to some sort of agreement to prevent that happening.”

Mr Dickinson would not confirm how many teachers at the school belonged to the union, but described it as a “sizeable number”.

He added: “There’s workload issues. The teachers were being asked to do things that they shouldn’t have been, outside of the teachers’ contract.

General view of Castle Community College, Salisbury Road, Walmer
General view of Castle Community College, Salisbury Road, Walmer

“Our members have no wish to disrupt pupils’ education but have been left with no choice.

“As professionals, teachers are entitled to have their concerns listened to seriously and addressed. That is all it will take to avoid further action.”

Teaching staff are still pursuing other industrial action. Those who have to use their breaks and lunchtimes to travel from one site to another have been instructed by their union not to travel at these times. The action began on October 14.

Elias Achillios, education director at Schools Company which runs the school, said: “The governing body and leadership of the college have made a commitment to keeping the college fully open to students without any health and safety risks.

“Arrangements have been made for the supervision and teaching of all classes on Mill Road and Salisbury Road sites affected by this action.

“I should like to reassure parents that the wellbeing and learning of our young people remain our priority and that we aim to limit the impact upon them of the action which is taking place.”

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