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St Peter's School teachers set to strike again

St Peter's School teachers set to strike again

Francis Batt

St Peter's School teachers set to strike again

Teachers are planning to walk out for a second time at St Peter's Middle School in Old Windsor tomorrow amid warnings that the action could escalate.

A third of teachers picketed the school in Crimp Hill two weeks ago when a first one day strike happened. Hopes rose that the dispute might be on the verge of settlement when a planned second strike last Wednesday was cancelled.

But this week Paul Watkins, area national executive for the teaching union NASUWT said teachers would be walking out again tomorrow.

He said: "We will be looking at escalating the action. The management is refusing to engage in any meaningful discussion. It is extremely disappointing. They won't accept that hard working dedicated teachers are entitled to a structured progression in their pay.

"They don't seem to understand the world the teachers live in or the pressures they face."

Striking teachers have claimed in the past that new headteacher Sharon Yardley left them no time to mark or prepare reports. But the union appears to be increasingly blaming the Royal Borough for refusing to compromise over changes in the pay structure.

Talks broke down after a two hour meeting with union representatives on Tuesday afternoon. A statement released by the school, said: "Yesterday was the first opportunity we had to talk to the NASUWT regional team officially about their issues with the new national pay and conditions.

"We feel we offered a pragmatic and common-sense way forward to protect the education of our pupils from further disruption and provide a fair deal for our teachers. While compromise was reached on a number of issues there remain four areas of the new national agreement that were not accepted by our union colleagues.

“Along with education and HR representatives from the Royal Borough, we met with the union in a genuine attempt to understand their issues and find an agreed and amicable way forward. It is very concerning that a number of the compromises we offered within the national changes have been refused and we are now issuing a heart-felt appeal to the union to think again and call off their action."

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