Teachers walk out on second day of strike action at Doncaster academy

De Warenne Academy
De Warenne Academy
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Teaching staff represented by the NUT at a Doncaster academy have walked out on the second day of strike action in two weeks today, over restructuring plans they say will lead to job losses and a narrowing of the curriculum.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) will take strike action for a second day today at De Warren Academy in Conisbrough which is part of the SPTA group of schools.

The union say the restructure will 'result in the loss of teachers jobs and a narrowing of the curriculum'.

Emma Forrest NUT Senior Organiser said: “Although some progress has been made in the negotiations to try to resolve this dispute, teachers at the school remain very concerned at the implication of the restructuring which is leading to job losses and increased workload"

"We believe there is a good deal of sympathy in the community for the teachers taking strike action. Parents understand that the restructuring will narrow the curriculum and directly affect their children's subject choices, reducing the number of available options."

The strike comes as parents have spoken out about problems at the school over rules concerning uniform and discipline. This has led to some parents saying they are considering organising a 'student strike'. Read more here.

SPTA is the biggest academy chain in Yorkshire responsible for more than 40 schools.

It was revealed last year that a Government schools commissioner had written to SPTA to warn them about standards in a third of their schools.

A spokesman for the trust suggested that poor exam results were linked to pupils taking too many exams, while the trust was projected to lose £6.8million this year “because of significant overstaffing which had never been addressed”.

Earlier this year Ofsted wrote to SPTA bosses about a series of inspections at their schools. It found that the impact of the SPTA’s work in bringing about improvement where it is most needed had been too slow.

It also said that SPTA was having more of an impact at its primary academies than its secondary schools.

An SPTA spokesman, who stated that it is trying to reduce compulsory redundancies, said that it cannot “ignore the financial challenges” the schools face or “continue to see students failed” under the current system.

He said staff were notified and consulted on the restructure as soon as was possible.

The spokesman added: “SPTA recognises the difficulties faced by some of its secondary academies."