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Teachers at Cambridgeshire school to strike over ‘draconian’ behaviour policies





Teachers at St Ivo’s Academy will begin the first of five days of strike action tomorrow (Wednesday) over “draconian” behaviour policies.

The NASUWT teaching union said staff at St Ivo Academy in St Ives are being asked to “enforce questionable rules that undermine their authority in the classroom”.

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high school or college student writing in lecture class.examiner testing in examination room.concept for scholarship to study abroad.world international education learning,research for new knowledge. For Next Step from iStock

St Ivo is part of Astrea Academy Trust, which said the school will stay open on strike days and it will do “everything we can” to limit disruption to pupils.

The union says that it does not endorse the approach to managing pupil behaviour adopted by the academy.

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT general secretary, said: “No behaviour policy can operate effectively without the support of teachers and school staff who are expected to apply it. Employers need to respect teachers’ professional judgement and autonomy.

“Behaviour policies must encourage positive behaviours and not detract from effective teaching and learning. Yet members at St Ivo’s Academy feel that the draconian nature of Astrea’s behaviour policies limit their ability to teach.

“Teachers need policies that empower them, but instead they are being asked to enforce questionable rules that undermine their authority in the classroom.

“We once again ask Astrea to review its behaviour policies in consultation with the NASUWT and to discontinue the imposition of procedures that are damaging and unworkable.”

Mark Burns, NASUWT national executive member for Cambridgeshire, added: “Despite some initial progress in talks, since we declared our dispute Astrea have imposed new policies around the monitoring of teachers’ performance, including no notice observations which were not consulted on and which are having a significantly detrimental impact on members.

“Our members are concerned that this pattern of behaviour by Astrea management, designed to erode the terms and conditions of teachers and reduce their professional autonomy, will continue and escalate. In the most recent discussion with the employer there was a noticeable lack of willingness to negotiate on key issues of concern of our members.

“The employer is showing the same rigid, fundamentalist approach to the working conditions of teachers as they do to the learning conditions for pupils.

“Members have been left with no alternative but to move to strike action.”

A spokesperson for Astrea Academy Trust, which also runs Cottenham Village College, said: “The school will open as normal this week. We continue to work to resolve any outstanding concerns whilst ensuring that the school makes the improvements necessary to provide students with the education they deserve.”



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