Birmingham & Black Country

Shenley Academy: Teachers strike over 'culture of fear'

Staff at the picket line earlier Image copyright NASUWT Shenley
Image caption Nearly 40 staff took to the picket line

A school was closed to two year groups on Thursday amid a strike by teachers protesting over "a culture of fear" at the site.

A total of 39 teachers have been demonstrating outside Shenley Academy in Birmingham, saying they deserve to be treated with respect by management.

They also complain of "intimidation" and "excessive workloads".

The Trust running the school said it was "absolutely committed" to continuing to improve.

The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) said striking members told them they felt "disempowered" by "unacceptable working practices", and it was affecting their ability to "do their best for pupils".

The school - which was closed to year-seven and eight pupils during the one-day strike - serves a student body of more than 1,000.

It was rated inadequate in all areas by watchdog Ofsted in October last year.

Image copyright NASUWT Shenley
Image caption The school, which serves 1,032 pupils, was rated inadequate in all areas by watchdog Ofsted

Debbie Hayton, NASUWT national executive member for Birmingham, said: "Within the school, members do feel there is a culture of fear and intimidation and it is through the intransigence of school management to address their concerns.

"We are looking for a culture where teachers are able to express their concerns openly without fear of recrimination."

Chris Keates, general secretary, added: "Teachers have a right to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace and to have working conditions which reflect their role as skilled professionals."

A spokesman for E-ACT academy trust which runs the school said: "We have taken swift and decisive action to address the issues highlighted by Ofsted at our last inspection.

"We remain absolutely committed to continue to improve Shenley Academy."

Head teacher Dr Jayne Bartlett said the school "continues to have open dialogue with union representatives and it remains committed to resolving the issue as quickly as possible".

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