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Teachers at St Joseph’s Primary School in Sudbury prepare to strike again over longstanding dispute

Teachers at a Suffolk school are preparing to strike again amid claims of poor working conditions and management.

Members of the National Education Union (NEU) at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School, in Sudbury, will be at a picket line outside the school tomorrow and Friday between 7.30am and 9.30am.

This follows a school closure last Tuesday after teaching staff walked out over a longstanding dispute regarding claims of poor management practice.

St Joseph's Roman Catholic Primary School in Sudbury. Picture: Google Maps
St Joseph's Roman Catholic Primary School in Sudbury. Picture: Google Maps

NEU members at the school said they were pleased an independent investigation into the issues raised had begun and hoped it would recommend actions which help resolve teaching staff’s concerns.

“We have been disappointed that earlier discussions have not reached a point of agreement,” they said.

“The fact that further talks at ACAS are not scheduled to take place until Thursday, March 28 is a further disappointment.

“Having said that, we remain hopeful that a satisfactory resolution will be reached.”

Last week, a letter from Christopher Oldroyd, chairman of governors at St Joseph’s, said: “Teaching staff have, over the past few months, raised a wide range of issues and concerns.

“We have met with staff and unions on multiple occasions to try and address those concerns, including a meeting with Acas.”

Paul McLaughlin, regional secretary for the NEU, said: “The NEU regret being forced into a position of having to take action.

“The school governors have known about the issues for several months and have not acted promptly to deal with the problems.

“These include unacceptable management practices, excessive demands on workload including short notice changes to curriculum and unnecessary book scrutiny.

“Teachers should be trusted to know their students and know how to get the best from them. Concerns have been raised formally from October yet the Governors are dragging their heels.

“We hoped, and have tried, to avoid the need for action through constructive dialogue, and remain willing to negotiations at the earliest opportunity. ”