School strikes to end

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A FOUR-month campaign of industrial action by staff at a South Yorkshire secondary school is set to come to an end this week.

The threat of compulsory redundancy facing one teacher at Rawmarsh Community School in Rotherham has been withdrawn after he was offered a part-time contract for the next academic year.

Strikes planned for this week have been suspended, and a meeting to be held during the next few days will discuss a recommendation to withdraw any future action.

The unrest began in early January after members of the National Union of Teachers walked out over proposals to axe 34 members of staff.

Headteacher Stuart Wilson argued the cuts were essential if the school was to tackle a budget deficit of £1.3 million.

Since then the number of staff at risk has steadily declined until only one potential redundancy remained – with the school’s NUT rep at risk.

NUT divisional secretary John Dalton said the decision to suspend the planned strike action had been agreed unanimously.

“We hope to be able to fully withdraw the action after a meeting later this week,” he said.

“The head has also indicated that wherever possible any extra hours available will be given to those who have had their working week reduced and that those who have lost the most teaching time will be first in line for any supply work available.”

Mr Dalton said that while some teachers were not working a full week and there were some issues still to be resolved the result had been a victory for the NUT, for common sense and for the children’s future education.

Rotherham Council’s senior director of schools Dorothy Smith said the authority would continue to advise the school on ways to tackle its deficit.

“The school will emerge stronger from this process,” she added.