Manchester

Bollin Primary School shuts with immediate effect in teaching row

Parents demonstrated outside the school on Thursday Image copyright Manchester Evening News
Image caption Parents demonstrated outside the school on Thursday

A school has been shut until further notice following a dispute over staff workload and "an over-reliance" on measuring pupils' progress.

Bollin Primary School in Bowdon, Greater Manchester has been closed due to concerns about a "reduced capacity of the senior leadership".

The council said it was to "safeguard and protect pupils".

It follows a strike by teachers on Thursday supported by some parents who demonstrated outside school.

Negative chants

In a statement, the council and the school's governors said: "This decision has not been taken lightly but is necessary to ensure the safe operation of the school in the light of concerns about the reduced capacity of the senior leadership at the school.

"Whilst we appreciate this matter will be a disruption to the pupils and family life, it is of the utmost importance to safeguard and protect pupils at the school and the council is actively taking steps to get the school reopened as soon as possible."

The council also added it was investigating a film circulating in which staff were allegedly making negative chants about the head teacher Michelle Brindle during a party.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The council is probing allegations staff were making negative chants about the head

Peter Middleman, regional secretary of the National Union of Teachers which represents 19 of the 22 teachers at the school said: "The strike was about workload - there have been a number of initiatives introduced without any consultation of the staff."

He said the dispute dates back to earlier in the school year when some progress was made but then the governors and parent governors were replaced.

Mr Middleman said: "What we want is a system of planning and accountability in the school introduced in consultation with staff rather than oppressive and punitive approach in place which is not in the interest of teachers or students."

A petition of no confidence in the head teacher has been signed by more than 900 people.

Ms Brindle was unavailable for comment but has previously defended her leadership and said she was 100% committed to the school.

The school which teaches more than 200 pupils from the age of three to 11 was rated as "outstanding" by Ofsted in 2007.

Its "outstanding" rating was upheld in an interim assessment in 2010.

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