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Pupils stay at home as teachers at west Cornwall school strike

By CMToby  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

Dozens of pupils at Heamoor Community Primary School will stay at home today after their teachers went on strike

Dozens of pupils at Heamoor Community Primary School will stay at home today after their teachers went on strike

Comments (8)

Dozens of school children were turned away from the gates of a west Cornwall primary this morning after most of its teachers went on strike.

Six teachers at Heamoor Community Primary School near Penzance took part in the NUT-organised strike in opposition to excessive workload and the number of observations they are under.

The absences mean the school, which only has seven teachers, had to shut three of its classes for the day.

Hannah Packham, senior NUT organiser, said the strike is the only one of its kind in the South West and may be followed by three more strikes next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

She said: "What we are looking to do is to get  some working practises and policy in place that is acceptable both to the school and teachers.

"We have always said three observations a year should be the maximum. At the moment there is an unlimited number of observations.

"In terms of workload, they are asking for an inordinate amount of short term planning, that I have never seen at a school before. Even Michael Gove has said short term planning is not required."

Ms Packham added the strikes wouldn't have taken place if negotiations hadn't become stuck on one paragraph in the new policy.

But parent governor Alan Davis said the breakdown in talks had been due to misunderstandings on both sides.

He said: "What the teachers have asked for is there should only be three observations a year, at a maximum of three hours.

"That's all there has ever been and we have no plans to change it. The only time there has been more than three observations is where there are particular issues, and that has to be accepted by the union as well.

"They did take exception to governors coming in to the school and sitting in on a lesson. I believe this is a misunderstanding, it is not to observe the teaching it is to observe the children and the ethos of the school. 

"They all work much longer hours than they ever have done, again that's not peculiar to this school. I'm not having a go at the teachers, it's the government.

"I am very sympathetic, I honestly believe in my opinion there is a total misunderstanding going on here. It's sad, I just hope that the anger and mistrust that builds up from these sort of things goes quickly after this is all over."

Parent Clare George's daughter had to stay at home for the day.

She said: "I don't work but people that do work, like a friend of mine, have got to go to work and try and find care for their children.

"We were told on Monday, it was the first I heard of it and its not been enough time to arrange child care. I have offered to look after other people's kids while they are working next week."

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8 comments

  • Sunshineing  |  February 01 2013, 7:52AM

    Absolutely terrific, I completely agree with the teachers, if you can't get your own way, go on strike. The interesting bit will be to see how good the teachers are, fortunately we won't need the children to take any exams for this we will just wait until the children don't get their own way hopefully the children will have learned from their teachers and the children will go on strike. (Note to teachers, good luck when the children follow your example).

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  • barumbcfc  |  January 31 2013, 8:34PM

    What a joke! completely agree with "Lalle"what world these guys living in. One of the worst aspect of there job is the so called baker days or as Lalle called it training days Why oh why can't these be done during there 12 to 14 weeks hols they get.if they ain't keen on the job get out into the real world they'd soon change there mind. Two words spring to mind "idle gits"

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  • Lafrowda  |  January 31 2013, 3:43PM

    With regard to "respect". Respect is something given because of excellence or superiority in some field of ability. The teaching profession is judged by the multitude of children who stay at school for more years than in the past and leave with pieces of paper that are worthless to employers, unless you want a media studies expert (they know how to watch T.V., play digital games and text) or a sports related subject.

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  • MaryJ75  |  January 31 2013, 3:10PM

    Do not try and delude your blinkered minds that teaching is easy and they work 30 weeks a year (what utter rubbish). 70+ hour weeks are normal. Working weekends is normal. Going in during your holidays is normal. Endless meetings and paperwork are normal. Having someone peering constantly over your shoulder telling you that they could do the job much better than you could is normal. Oh and they find time to teach the children and try and achieve endless, endless targets as well. Teaching is a job which, no matter how many hours you put in, there are never enough to meet its impossible demands. Yes teachers moan. With good reason (and the lack of professional respect from people like the posters below is another one). It's why I left the profession.

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  • lalle  |  January 31 2013, 2:28PM

    Can I take my child out of school during term time for a weeks holiday, because I can't afford to pay peak prices? Answer no, your childs education will suffer. Can a teacher go on strike during term time, so my child can't go to school? Yes, obviously your childs education will then not suffer, as it is not a holiday! What is the difference? If they do not like their job, short hours, 12 weeks holiday a year, plus training days, they should go and work in a supermarket. 40 hours a week, including weekends, minimum pay and 4 weeks holiday a year. Then they would have something to moan about.

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  • JeremyBadger  |  January 31 2013, 1:36PM

    Strike?? Blimey they only work for about 30 weeks a year as it is now the wimps go on strike for "excessive workload", laughable! It just goes to show how much they care for the childrens education...zilch!

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  • JeremyBadger  |  January 31 2013, 1:36PM

    Strike?? Blimey they only work for about 30 weeks a year as it is now the wimps go on strike for "excessive workload", laughable! It just goes to show how much they care for the childrens education...zilch!

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  • JeremyBadger  |  January 31 2013, 1:36PM

    Strike?? Blimey they only work for about 30 weeks a year as it is now the wimps go on strike for "excessive workload", laughable! It just goes to show how much they care for the childrens education...zilch!

    Rate   -2
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