19th Oct, 2017

Teachers to strike at Bluecoat School in Coventry in first week of term

Les Reid 2nd Sep, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

TEACHERS at a Coventry school are to take strike action tomorrow – in the first week of the new school year.

Members of the National Union of Teachers are set to take two days of action at Bluecoat School, Terry Road, Stoke, Coventry, tomorrow and September 10.

The school has posted on its website it will be “open to all students” who should report to their form tutor as normal, with minimal disruption.

But it is understood members of other unions are also being urged to support colleagues and not carry out normal duties.

Picket lines outside the school will start early in the morning.

Teachers are unhappy about the school seeking to impose changes to working practices and policies, and terms and conditions, without properly consulting them.

They include pay related policies, performance management, grievance and disciplinary policies which union members say were suddenly posted on the school’s website with no consultation with union representatives – despite union recognition at the school.

Jane Nellist, joint secretary of Coventry NUT, said: “It’s a crazy situation to end up in. There’s a simple solution. Management need to go back to the policies that operated when the school became an academy and, if they want to make changes, seek a proper consultation with the union.”

The NUT says the policies are “detrimental to the employment rights of staff” and were imposed by the previous head teacher, Dr Julie Roberts.

NUT members were set to take strike action in March when Dr Roberts left the school and the governing body was dissolved.

The union said that, despite initial indications from the chair of the interim governing body that the policies would “be reversed”, no progress had been made and the current Interim head teacher has refused to meet with union representatives.

A Coventry NUT statement added: “The lack of consultation at the school which could also be seen in a staff restructuring process undertaken over two weeks in July has had a detrimental effect upon the morale of staff at the school and is a likely cause of the high staff turnover at the school.”

The school claims it was trying to work with the union to find a resolution, and sought a good working relationship with the union.

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