NUT members angry at forced changes to school timetables

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, Education (EI),

NUT Alfreton Grange strikersTeachers in Derbyshire are today back on strike over changes to their timetables.

The NUT members at Alfreton Grange Arts College are taking their second day’s action after bosses introduced more teaching periods per day. Teachers say not only does this lead 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.”

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.”

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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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