More action at strike-hit secondary

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TEACHERS at a South Yorkshire school are back on strike as part of a dispute over redundancies which is now entering its fifth month.

Members of the National Union of Teachers at Rawmarsh Community School in Rotherham took action yesterday and today over four remaining potential job losses.

Industrial action had been suspended after the school agreed not to axe any jobs before the Easter break.

The pause was intended to give school managers and the local authority time to come up with a solution which would avoid compulsory redundancies.

But strikes have now been resumed at a period in the school calendar when students are preparing for important exams.

NUT divisional secretary John Dalton said the £1.3 million budget deficit which had led to the crisis was a direct result of management failure, including senior staff, governors and the town council.

“We think those responsible for the budget problems at the school should be held accountable,” he said.

“The NUT believes that the local authority has a responsibility to make good this matter due to its negligence in properly monitoring the school accounts and that this action could be resolved by cooperation between them and the school.

“The redundancy notices could be withdrawn and the strike action halted.”

Mr Dalton said: “It is unfair that teachers should lose their jobs and pupils’ education should suffer because of the failures of those whose job it is to manage the school.

“NUT members are fighting for their jobs and the children’s education – the two are inseparable.”

Teachers at Rawmarsh first took strike action in January after recently appointed headteacher Stuart Wilson said 34 staff members faced redundancy by Easter, including 25 teachers.

Mr Wilson said: “We are again bitterly disappointed that the NUT has decided to take this action, particularly when we have worked hard to reduce the number of potential compulsory redundancies.

“This has resulted in the numbers dropping from 25 to four, and two have potential opportunities elsewhere which we hope will mean the figure falls even further.”

Three year groups of pupils have been told to stay at home as a result of the strike.