Members of NASUWT – Teachers’ Union will take strike action at Caldicot secondary school in Monmouthshire on Thursday 21 and on Thursday 28 September 2023. A further four days are planned during October. Talks with the school have failed to make sufficient progress in addressing adverse management practices affecting the health, safety and welfare of its members and the pupils in their care.
The NASUWT has been in negotiations with the school since 2019 in a bid to resolve ongoing concerns about the management of the school. The employer is failing to provide appropriate support to staff in dealing with violent and abusive behaviour.
In the strike ballot, 85% of members voted to support strike action and 92% voted to support action short of strike, which includes the refusal to teach pupils who pose a risk to staff.
In July, NASUWT officials agreed clear actions with the school that would have resolved the dispute. Twelve weeks later, the school’s management have failed to uphold this agreement and there are now growing concerns of Trade Union victimisation.
NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said:
“Teachers cannot teach and pupils cannot learn in an environment where there is disruption and violence. Poor pupil behaviour cannot be explained away by attributing it to a teacher’s ability to plan and deliver lessons appropriately, something which parents and the public accept.
“Despite clear assurances to the contrary, Caldicot School has failed in their most basic commitment to support teachers to teach.
“Monmouthshire Council cannot ignore its responsibilities and obligations towards its employees or to the pupils in their care. By choosing to strike, our members are sending a clear message that they will not tolerate threats to the health, safety and well-being of themselves or their pupils. Nor will they accept management’s attempts at intimidation when attempting to stand up for their rights at work.”
NASUWT National Official Wales Neil Butler said:
“We have seen a growing trend of violence in schools since Covid and this is exposing weak management in Wales.
“Caldicot was having problems before the pandemic, but poor management in the school and lack of oversight by Monmouthshire Council has now led to a breakdown in industrial relations. Doing nothing is not an option, but that is what we are seeing in this dispute.
“The dispute can be easily resolved but we need some proactive intervention by Monmouthshire Council to deal with this issue.”