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Tech City College denies claims of teacher breakdowns as NUT calls strike action

PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 December 2015 | UPDATED: 16:08 03 December 2015

Tech City College: Islington NUT has claimed

Tech City College: Islington NUT has claimed "chaos and intimidation"

Archant

Strike action has been called at Tech City College following “excessive pressure” on staff.

That’s according to Islington NUT, which said seven teachers have handed in their notice “because they could take no more of the chaos and intimidation which was going on”.

The claims were denied by the college’s management this week.

On Monday, the NUT announced five days of strike action following a unanimous vote. Teachers at the City Road college are demanding more “humane and workable performance management” and a “fair pay policy”.

The action will begin on Tuesday and Wednesday, with three more days planned on December 15, 16 and 17.

The NUT said in a statement: “Earlier this month, following quite excessive pressure on staff from senior managers to ‘improve’ their performance – which included a teacher being phoned late on a Sunday night with instructions on what to do during a lessons observation the next day – one teacher was so stressed and anxious that she collapsed in front of the students she was teaching.”

Paramedics had to be called to the college, the union said.

As reported in the Gazette, Tech City College, which changed its name from STEM Academy in September, was warned by Ofsted that its progress remains “far too slow” after an “inadequate” rating - the lowest possible rank - in March.

The aim of the strike is to agree with Aspirations Academy Trust, which took over the college in September, a limit to the number of times a teacher’s performance can be observed. Teachers also want to thrash out a pay progression policy.

An Aspirations spokeswomaman said the trust is “greatly disappointed” by the action.

She also denied the NUT’s claims of teachers being called late at night and breaking down in class.

“It is not the practice of the management team to make business calls to staff over the weekend or in the evening.

“A member of staff was taken ill, emergency services were called and she was taken to hospital for a medical check. This member of staff has now returned to work.

“There has been no suggestion by this staff member that her condition was affected by specific and/or recent work related stress.”

She added that the seven teachers who handed in their notice will be replaced in January.


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