Teachers Strike Over Fearing Their Pupils

27 June 2019, 11:06 | Updated: 27 June 2019, 14:32

Birmingham School Starbank

Staff at "outstanding rated school" Starbank School in Small Heath have been striking saying their safety and that of pupils is at risk.

Teachers say their employer has failed to address concerns raised about poor pupil behaviour.

Birmingham City Council says a safeguarding review's been carried out and staff are waiting for the results.

It's reported that panic buttons have been issued to teachers on their computers as they claim to have been threatened by pupils with knives.

Members of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union rallied outside the Hob Moor Road site on Thursday morning saying it's a result of the failure of the employer to address members’ concerns over poor pupil behaviour.

Our reporter Kate Baldock is outside the school and has spoken to NASUWT President, Dave Kitchen: 

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Strike action is a last resort for dedicated and committed teachers but there has been a failure by the Employer to take seriously their professional concerns over pupil indiscipline.

“Teachers are entitled to a safe working environment and employers have a legal duty of care for their employees.

“The NASUWT remains committed to engaging with the Employer to resolve this dispute and avoid further industrial action but the employer needs to take the concerns of the teachers seriously.”

Paul Nesbitt, NASUWT National Executive Member for the West Midlands, said:

“We have been negotiating for some time with the Employer over the issues relating to pupil behaviour and while new policies have been introduced by the school, sufficient practical steps have not been taken to ensure poor behaviour is addressed and that teachers are supported in maintaining good order in the classroom.

“The NASUWT regrets any disruption caused by the strike action to pupils and parents, but the lack of effective action by the employer means we have been left with little choice but to call this strike action.”

Ofsted say it's in talks with Birmingham City Councils and monitoring the situation.

"In response to your enquiry, Starbank School received a full inspection in May 2012, when it was rated outstanding. Under government legislation, outstanding providers are exempt from routine inspection.

A monitoring visit to Starbank School was carried out in May 2018, as the school had undergone significant change since its previous inspection, including the addition of secondary phase education. Our report from the visit stated that Starbank had maintained an outstanding quality of education, therefore its rating was not changed. 

We are aware of the reports regarding Starbank and have been in contact Birmingham City Council. We will continue to monitor the situation."

The NASUWT members are planning to strike again next week.