Around 40 teachers from Castle Vale School picketed the school gates this morning in protest at alleged adverse management practices and lack of support for management of disruptive pupils.
Television camera crews from BBC and Central News were there, along with Five Live national radio, BBC WM and local press including the Birmingham Mail. BBC Radio 5 Live, which has millions of listeners across the country, broadcast a live report and interview from the scene.
The strike action has brought national attention to a very localised issue.
Anne Brimacombe of the NAS/UWT teachers’ union hopes that the LEA will now intervene to help settle a dispute that has been going on for some time, and that the schoool governors have been unable to resolve. The school is closed today for pupils from Years 7-10, but remains open for Year 11 pupils.
Two more days of strikes are planned for later this month.
Headteacher Clive Owen said: “I am disappointed and disturbed that the NAS/UWT union have chosen to damage the education of our children in this way, and this at a time when many students are close to taking their important GCSE examinations. We have year 11 students in for lessons that can be run as normal and will use other time to support them with coursework. Other year groups have been asked to remain at home for the day. A number of meetings with the union have been held to avoid this.”
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT said: “The Union and its members have made every effort to engage constructively to resolve the dispute but unfortunately neither the School management nor the Governors have responded positively. Since 2009 when the problems first emerged, there have been endless meetings but no real or sustained progress. Pupils and teachers deserve better.”