Fourth teacher strike over new Archway school building

AROUND 40 teachers were striking this week over the controversial �17million rebuild of an Islington secondary school – downing tools for the fourth time in six months.

The staff at St Aloysius’ College in Hornsey Lane, Archway, walked out of lessons today (Wednesday) for a two-day strike.

They claim that a new �17million block built as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme has left them with “a smaller school with fewer classrooms”.

A teachers’ protest is also due to take place tomorrow night (Thursday) outside Islington Town Hall in Upper Street – and is likely to not only be attended by St Aloysius’ College staff, but also by education staff at the council’s central services department and by staff and parents at Moreland Primary School in Goswell Road, Finsbury.

Forty-nine posts are being cut from the central services department – and Islington NUT believes this will translate into around 30 redundancies.

Moreland’s acting headteacher Gordon Canning, in a joint letter with chairwoman of governors Elizabeth Smithson and school business manager Caroline Bradbury, said the school felt “abandoned” by the council. Ken Muller, assistant secretary of the Islington NUT, said: “There is not general chaos in Islington schools. Most of the schools are running very effectively. But we are disappointed because we were looking forward to working co-operatively with the new Labour council.”

Labour councillor Richard Watts, Islington Council’s executive member for education, said: “All these things at St Aloysius’ College are the responsibility of the headteacher. It’s not the responsibility of the council to interfere. Overall the improvements at St Aloysius are fantastic.”

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There are some problems with a couple of rooms. I agree with the head that we don’t think that these things warrant a strike.”