Academy Teachers Strike Over Bullying Claims
Teachers at University Academy Keighley (UAK) have launched a two day strike over alleged bullying and intimidation by school bosses.
Around 30 staff braved the snow and sub-zero temperatures to picket near the main gates.
Lessons were cancelled for all but Year 11 and the Sixth Form as the academy attempted to function on a skeleton staff.
The industrial action by NASUWT members comes after claims teachers have been bullied by the principal and some of her leadership team, resulting in some quitting their jobs or leaving with stress.
The strikers carried placards declaring ‘STOP THE BULLIES’, ‘UAK EQUALITY FOR ALL’ and ‘OUR HEALTH AND WELLBEING MATTERS’.
The NASUWT is calling for an independent investigation into the actions of the principal and some of her leadership team and follows on from industrial action, known as action short of strike action, before the half term holidays.
One striking teacher said:”We don’t want to be striking but we can no longer put up with the culture of bullying and the stress that is causing.”
Tim Toepritz, NASUWT national executive for the area, said the union had entered into the negotiations with UAK but the talks had ‘not been going well’.
“This perceived bullying and discrimination needs to stop and needs to be investigated,” said Mr Toepritz.
“We are trying to improve the culture in the school and build a better atmosphere.”
A UAK spokesperson stated:UAK is very disappointed that NASUWT members
have decided to take strike action this Wednesday and Thursday. Any
disruption to children’s education is unwelcome, however the academy has done everything it can to maintain lessons for pupils in the lead up to their forthcoming examinations (Year 11 and Post 16).
“The academy cares passionately about providing high quality
education for our pupils and we have made significant progress over the last 2 years in terms of improving outcomes for our pupils. The academy has tried on numerous occasions to gain clarity about the specific concerns of NASUWT members so that these can
be resolved, however to date, these have not been clarified. The Governing Body and the management at UAK are happy to continue meeting with staff and the unions to see how their concerns can be resolved without any further disruption to children’s learning and progress.”
- News Editor
- Keighley Local News