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5 February 2013
Members of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, will hold the first of three days of strike action beginning today at Newton-le-Willows Primary School in Merseyside, in furtherance to the trade dispute with the Secretary of State, and the failure of the school to respond appropriately to the national action instructions, particularly in regard to teachers’ appraisals.
The new appraisal policy introduced by St Helens Council subjects teachers to unlimited classroom observations.
Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary, said: “No teacher objects to professional, supportive and developmental lesson observation. It’s quality, not quantity of observation which makes a difference.
“The NASUWT is committed to an appraisal system where those who manage teachers engage in a professional dialogue with them, respect them as professionals, and make decisions about their work openly and fairly.
“Unfortunately, the policy adopted by St Helen’s Council is the fallout from the Government’s 2012 Regulations, which are used as a punitive management tool to pressurise and intimidate teachers.
“Our members at Newton-le-Willows Primary are hard-working and dedicated. They have sought to avoid taking this action, but have been left with no choice.”
Mick Burrows, National Executive Member for the North West, said: “We have always sought to resolve this by negotiation and remain open to sitting down with the Council. This strike action could be avoided if the Council and the school ended their dogmatic approach to discussions.”