BBC NEWS: Teachers strike over ‘climate of fear’ at Wellsway school

Originally posted at BBC News on March 11, 2015

Teachers strike over ‘climate of fear’ at Wellsway school

Staff picketing at Wellsway School
NASUWT members at Wellsway School in Keynsham say they are being undermined by “excessive” monitoring

Teachers at a school near Bristol have gone on strike over what they say are “unacceptable working practices”.

Staff at Wellsway School in Keynsham, who are members of teacher’s union NASUWT, claim they are being undermined by excessive monitoring.

The union’s Wendy Exton said the volume of unannounced classroom inspections and observations at the school has led to a “climate of fear”.

The school said it has “worked hard” to meet staff concerns.

Head teacher Andrea Arlidge said she “regrets” the union’s decision to strike but said the school has a responsibility to students “to ensure that they receive the best possible lessons”.

“We have a great team of teachers in the school, but like every successful school in the country, we can’t afford to be complacent and ignore our wider responsibilities to students and parents,” she said.

However, she said she is hopeful of reaching an agreement soon.

The NASUWT said it has made every effort to negotiate a way forward and it has up to six days of industrial action planned.