Hundreds of people sign petition in support of teacher strike at a Sheffield school

Westways Primary School
Westways Primary School
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Hundreds of people have signed a petition in support of teachers going on strike for four days at a Sheffield school.

The National Education Union has announced staff are due to walk out of Westways Primary School, in Crookes, on Wednesday, December 6 and Thursday, December 7 and then for two days the following week on Tuesday, December 12 and Wednesday, December 13.

The union claims staff are unhappy with changes to policy, workload and management practices since a new executive headteacher was appointed and has refused to rule out further strike action.

The NEU said students are facing a marked narrowing of the curriculum, reduction in early years playtime, removal of learn through play throughout year one and two and SATS style testing every half term in years three to five.

A petition, set up by Francyne Johnson, has gained almost 450 signatures.

It said: "We support Westways National Education Union teachers to take strike action.

"These teachers are fighting increased teaching to the test aimed solely at SATs scores and the reduction of play-based learning.

"They are calling for evidence based practices that are discussed with staff before decisions are made."

NEU officials said they had been negotiating with school management since June but had been unable to 'reach any reasonable agreement to maintain decent working conditions' and regret the 'disruption and inconvenience' that the strike will cause.

Executive headteacher Sam Fearnehough said school leaders are open to further meetings with the NEU to try to avoid strike action.

She added that the changes she has introduced 'are already having a positive impact on the quality of teaching and the progress children are making.'