More strike action looms at Langdon School, East Ham

Teachers at an East Ham school are expected to take further strike action this week in a long-running dispute.

Members of the Newham Teachers Association are expected to take action tomorrow and on Thursday. The school, in line with most others in the borough, is expected to close on Wednesday as staff take part in the national day of action over pensions.

Although they were on strike last Thursday the Sussex Road school ran lessons as normal. The NTA has said that agency staff were used to keep the school running but this was denied by the council. The school has also denied using agency staff to keep the classes running.

Union members are locked in a dispute with the school over management and workloads issues.

Newham Council said some of these were resolved last week but said: “Despite progress and agreement on a number of issues, the failure to agree on two issues has resulted in the local NUT calling ten days of strike action over a period of four weeks (November 24 to December 20).”

The NTA has said that agency staff were used to keep the school running but this was denied by the council.

A spokesman for the council said: “To help ensure a swift resolution to the dispute and deal with the numerous challenges to management at Langdon School, the head teacher, in consultation with the Chair of Governors, had already organised to further strengthen capacity and support at the school.”

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The two remaining areas of disagreement relate to recent requests by the NUT. These relates to matters concerning individual members of staff who are currently subject to investigation and disciplinary processes. The second was for the school Governors to appoint an Executive Head Teacher responsible for overall day to day management of the school.

A Newham Council spokesman said: “Ten days of strike action over a four week period will have a significant impact on the education of children at Langdon School and will disrupt the lives of busy parents and carers. The children’s education must come first.”

Peter Smith, Newham NUT Divisional Secretary said: “The bullying tactics by the School in dealing with the strike action is another example of the oppressive management our members experience on a daily basis. NUT members simply wish to work in an environment which will enable them to do what they do best: that is teaching the students at the School to improve their life chances. The continuation of the bullying atmosphere at the school, leaves me with no opportunity but to request that our members now be balloted for continuous strike action.”