Monday 7 July 2014

Strike at Winterbourne Academy escalates

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NUT members at Winterbourne Boys’ Academy are on strike for two days this week. They were on strike for one day last week and have announced a further 3 days next week. The school was taken over as an academy in April by Platanos Academy in Lambeth. Teachers are concerned with the amount of lesson observations, which have been at a rate of 3 per week. Management have cancelled talks that were planned for this week and have given no new dates. Below is a copy of the letter sent by the NUT to parents at the school.

Dear Parents and Carers,

Members of Croydon NUT at Winterbourne Boys are on strike for a second week, following a decision of the new owners to cancel the talks that had been arranged for last week.

We sincerely regret this further disruption especially as it is unnecessary. We were confident that we could have averted further action after some limited progress in the first round of talks. Representatives of the new owners had indicated that they would respond to some written proposals from the Union on Wednesday 2nd July. However at short notice they cancelled this meeting without giving a reason and have not responded to our requests for a new date.

We now understand that Ms.Tapper (CEO of Platanos) had written to parents and carers on 30th June informing you of 6 dates of NUT strike action but reassuring you that the school would be open as usual. This does not indicate to us a willingness to resolve the dispute and avoid strikes.

Her letter also stated that a number of staff “told Ms.Banton that they did not like their work being monitored”. This is inaccurate. No one in the NUT has used these words. In fact teachers value helpful advice following monitoring. Like your children we are always keen to learn and improve.

What teachers strongly object to is being unnecessarily monitored much too often, being subject to unfair negative criticism and having opportunities for their professional development withdrawn.

Teachers would hugely welcome seeing the headteacher and the leadership team teach some lessons, so that teachers can learn from their good practice. Unfortunately, the school leaders won’t do this.

Croydon NUT

This week the strike will be on Tuesday 8th July and Wednesday 9th July. Please send messages of support to croydonnut@hotmail.com

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