NUT members say new schedule will reduce the time they can teach students

NUT members on strike at Alfreton Grange Arts College. Pic from @NUTArea3

NUT members on strike at Alfreton Grange Arts College. Pic from @NUTArea3

Teachers in Derbyshire are today on strike after bosses changed their timetables without consulting them.

NUT members at the Alfreton Grange Arts College say having more teaching periods per day not only leads to a longer school day and shorter breaks but reduces teaching opportunities for students.

NUT regional officer Nick Raine said: “We have made every effort to avoid industrial action. We have continually expressed our desire to negotiate with the school. In July we asked the employer to postpone the changes to the school day so that a meaningful consultation could take place. The changes were implemented although the school knew that this decision risked a formal ballot of our members in the autumn term.

“We are willing to work with the school to resolve the dispute. Our continuing offers to negotiate on behalf of our members have been ignored. As a consequence we are taking strike action and students will have their learning disrupted.

“We are committed to seeking a resolution to this dispute. We reiterate our willingness to negotiate with the school on behalf of our members so that a satisfactory conclusion can be reached for all concerned.”

Deborah Turner, County Division Secretary of the NUT said: “Teachers at Alfreton Grange Arts College are committed professionals who want the best for their students. They want a working day that is manageable and which allows them to deliver a broad-based, enjoyable curriculum which meets the needs of all.

“It seems ironic that at a time when workload has triggered strike action in Derbyshire that the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has just announced the creation of three new review groups to look at and address this issue.

“Teachers are, of course, concerned about the impact of workload on their own health and well-being but they also recognise the negative consequences that their ill-health can have for students. A healthy, happy workforce has less absence ensuring continuity of provision and less cover costs.

“It should also be noted that the changes to the structure of the working day are not only opposed by NUT members. Parents are also raising concerns about the lack of consultation and the impact on their children. The school itself admits that, ‘Six parents were against the change and the remaining nine were broadly in favour or asking for clarification on different points which was provided’. Is this really an adequate mandate for change?”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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