NUT says trip has “little educational value”

The letter to parents from Merrill Academy's principal

The letter to parents from Merrill Academy’s principal

Non-striking teachers at Derby’s Merrill Academy are today taking pupils to the cinema to avoid strike action at the school.

NASUWT and NUT members at the school are on the second of three days’ strike action over what the unions say are “unacceptable working practices placing unnecessary burdens on teachers, undermining their professionalism”.

In a letter to parents, principal Mr A Scott says many pupils will be taken out of school during the action, including trips to the National Space Centre in Leicester, the Magna Science Adventure Park near Sheffield and, this afternoon, to the Showcase Cinema.

NUT regional secretary Ian Stevenson told USi News: “These trips have very little educational value – they are totally aimed at breaking the strike.”

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “Members deeply regret having to continue to take strike action. Every effort has been made to avoid this and to secure an agreed way forward through genuine negotiation, but teachers have been faced with a dogged refusal to address their concerns.

“The NASUWT has put forward a more than reasonable set of proposals to the governors and the school management which, if accepted, would remove the need for strike action.

“However, these proposals have been rejected and we have been faced with a refusal to engage with us seriously to address teachers’ concerns.

“We deeply regret any disruption to parents and pupils, but teachers have been left with no choice. We stand ready to call off the strike action if progress can be made”

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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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