Strike being seen as first challenge under joint NASUWT/NUT agreement over increases in teachers’ workloads and cuts to staff pay and pensions

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Teachers at an east London school are on the second of three days of strike action this morning in protest at a ‘mock inspection’ exercise ordered by the headteacher.

(Pictured: teachers strike over Coalition pension cuts. London, 28 March 2012)

It is being seen as the first challenge of its kind under the joint NASUWT/NUT agreement to resist increases in teachers’ workloads and cuts to staff pay and pensions.

The strike, at Bishop Challoner school in Tower Hamlets, followed an overwhelming vote by members of both unions.

Teachers say the ‘mock OFSTEDs’ – named after the education watchdog inspectors who carry out the regular school inspections – require staff to put in extra hours in preparing further lesson plans instead of normal classroom teaching, increase stress on teachers and pupils and cost an estimated £35,000.

The joint NASUWT/NUT industrial action agreement, which took effect earlier this month, specifically instructions members not to participate in mock inspections of this kind.

Both unions had stopped short of nominating days for national strike action in the campaign. However, the agreement provides for local branches and officials to escalate industrial action if headteachers attempt to force staff to carry out duties which they regard as additional to their normal contractural requirements.


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