12:45PM, Tuesday 12 November 2013
Angry teachers picketed a popular village school as parents and teachers arrived today.
The unprecedented action by a third of the teachers at Old Windsor's St Peter's Middle School was the start of a day long strike - and two more are in the offing.
Head of science Dave Morris, who is representative of the teachers' union NASUWT at the school, insisted the action was the result of intransigence by Sharon Yardley who took over as headteacher in September.
He said she had imposed a culture that left teachers no time to mark or prepare reports other than in their spare time. He said she had also refused to negotiate with the union's area National Executive member Paul Watkins over changes in pay structure being imposed by the Royal Borough.
He said: "Last Friday I pleaded with her in front of the whole staff to meet Paul to stop the strike and she absolutely refused in front of everyone."
At the moment teachers have more strikes planned for Wednesday, November 20 and Thursday, November 28.
There are six members of the teaching union NASUWT on the staff - one currently on maternity leave and the other believed to be contracturally unable to take part in any action.
The morning picket was attended by Mr Watkins and the union's national vice-president Graham Dawson.
Headteacher Sharon Yardley later put out a statement on behalf of the school saying she had been prepared to negotiate with the union though Mr Morris if the strike was called off.
She said: "This is a strike that was entirely avoidable. The governing body and I are at a loss to understand why it has taken place, given that we have made concessions in our policies and consistently offered to continue to talk to the NASUWT."
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