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Union calls out 'alleged bullying management culture' at St Aloysius'

PUBLISHED: 08:06 24 December 2019

Students protesting outside St Aloysius College. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey

Students protesting outside St Aloysius College. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey

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The National Education Union has raised concerns about an "alleged bullying management culture" at St Aloysius' College.

Workers at the Hornsey Lane Catholic school - who spoke on condition of anonymity - claim more than 30 staff members have left since executive headteacher Jane Heffernan took over last year. Staff have talked about being belittled by management and being discouraged from participating in representative bodies.

The "shockingly high" turnover they claim is down to low staff moral, and is reflected in student intake. One employees said there are only about 116 students in Year 7 at present, when there should be around 180. It is claimed there are only about 80 students in the sixth form when the number should be closer to 200, and that only 20 or so pupils stayed on at the end of Year 12 last year.

The school did not respond to questions about these figures.

An Islington National Education Union spokesperson said: "As the union representing many of the teaching and support staff at St Aloysius we are concerned at reports we have been receiving from members about low staff morale at the school, an alleged bullying management culture and a consequent high turnover of staff. Members have complained to us that teachers have unfairly been put on what are meant to be 'support' plans and that the headteacher attempted to silence our representative at the school at a staff meeting earlier this year when he attempted to explain why students had been protesting about what they claimed was the poor treatment of staff."

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Ms Heffernan said: "St Aloysius' College is committed to creating a community in which students and staff can aim for excellence in all areas - academic, social, physical, moral, cultural and spiritual.

"We are extremely proud of our staff and students, who this year celebrated together excellent GCSE and A-level exam results, placing the college in one of the top performing Catholic boys schools nationally for progress and well above national and local outcomes."

She said a "significant number of our sixth form students were offered places at prestigious universities".

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Westminster said: "St Aloysius' College is committed to creating a community in which students and staff can aim for excellence in all areas - academic, social, physical, moral, cultural and spiritual."

In April, about 100 pupils from years 10 to 13 protested outside the school because of the alleged "mistreatment of original St Aloysius' staff".

In 2018, Ofsted rated the school as "requires improvement".

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