A FOURTH day of strike action at a Gwent comprehensive school has been called off, a council has announced.
Teachers at Caldicot School had been due to stage their fourth strike day since September this Wednesday, November 15 in a row over physical and verbal abuse from pupils.
Teaching unions the NASUWT and NEU had said the school’s leadership had failed to take action to deal with violence from pupils and members were striking to protect themselves and other pupils.
Two strike days were staged in September and though further dates in October were called off a third day of action, which closed the school, was staged before the half-term holiday on Wednesday, October 25.
A further strike day was scheduled for November 15 while the NASUWT had also said its members would take action short of strike by refusing to teach specified pupils. That action was due to come into force from October 31, or effectively from Monday, November 6 when school reopened after the half term break.
Following the most recent action Councillor Martyn Groucutt, who is the Labour cabinet member for education on Monmouthshire County Council, confirmed that head teacher Steven Grech has been absent from school but the authority was involved in talks with its governing body and the unions.
A council spokesman said it was “pleased” this week’s planned walkout has been avoided.
They said: “All partners working to resolve the industrial dispute in Caldicot School are pleased that the proposed strike action due to take place on November 15 has been withdrawn.
“Through positive dialogue established between the governing body and the trade unions, working with Monmouthshire County Council, there has been progress on some of the areas of contention.
“All parties hope that this positive progress will continue, and all continue to seek a sustainable resolution. We can confirm that the headteacher is not in work at the moment.”
The council hasn’t responded to questions on the refusal of teachers to teach individual pupils, which is believed to be a point of negotiation between the school and unions. Cllr Groucutt had previously told county councillors that action had given the authority “grave cause for concern” and it would do “all we can to ensure all learners are taught in school”.
The unions have also been contacted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service for comment.