Staff at a primary school in Clydach, near Swansea, are set to go on strike for six days over what they claim are "adverse management practices which are affecting teachers’ health and working conditions". Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union at Clydach Primary School in Swansea will be taking the first of six planned days of strike action on Tuesday, March 21.
Union members at the school say they are taking action as a result of what they claim is the failure of the local authority and school governors to act to address "serious longstanding management failings on the part of the permanent headteacher".
According to the union, these include the bullying of staff, failure to take appropriate responsibility for managing and leading teaching and learning, failure to fulfil duties around safeguarding the health and safety of pupils and staff and a failure to adequately meet the professional standards teachers expect of a school leader.
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Swansea Council told WalesOnline that the industrial action is expected to result in a partial closure of the school, however, this has yet to be confirmed by the school who have been approached for comment. It is thought the school will be closed to some year groups.
As well as the strike action planned for March 21, further action is planned for March 22, as well as a three-day walk out on March 28, 29 and 30. A day's industrial action is also scheduled for May 4.
Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: “Trust and confidence in the school leadership has completely broken down as a result of years of failure to address the significant concerns of staff about the way in which the school is being run and they are being managed.
“So strong are the feelings of teachers that they have issued a collective grievance to the Chair of Governors regarding the headteachers’ working practices.
“Teachers feel they and the pupils they teach have been unacceptably let down by the local authority, governors and management of the school and that this situation cannot be allowed to continue.
“We urge the local authority and governing body to recognise the seriousness of the situation and to take the steps needed to re-establish professional, accountable and focused management of the school.”
Neil Butler, NASUWT National Official Wales, said: “The local authority and governing body are failing in their duty of care to staff and pupils at Clydach. They have had numerous opportunities to act to address the long-running management problems at the school but have failed to do so.
“Members now feel that they have no choice but to take strike action in a bid to bring about much needed positive change at the school.
“Sadly, It is too late for the numerous members of staff who have felt that they have had no option but to leave Clydach. Our members are determined to fight to safeguard the future of Clydach Primary School for the learners, for their own right to be treated with dignity at work, and for the right of their pupils to attend a school which is managed effectively and professionally.”
A spokesperson for Swansea Council said: “We have been working hard to support the resolution of the dispute at Clydach Primary School. We will continue to support the school and will continue dialogue with the union to try to avoid any future disruption to pupils and their families.
“We had identified areas for improvement at Clydach Primary School and an action plan is in place. We are supporting Clydach Primary to strengthen and develop leadership at all levels at the school.
“Swansea Council is committed to giving every child the best possible chance to fulfil their potential in all our communities and we will continue to work with the school and its teachers in the interests of all pupils at Clydach Primary.”
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