Teachers on strike at colleges group in Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury College and Shrewsbury Sixth Form College Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption The National Education Union is unhappy about a proposed change to the way lessons are assessed by bosses at Shrewsbury Colleges Group

College teachers in Shropshire are taking strike action, in a dispute over changes to how lessons are assessed.

Members of the National Education Union (NEU) at the Shrewsbury Colleges Group walked out on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The union said it was unhappy with plans to "grade" lessons at Shrewsbury College and Shrewsbury Sixth Form College.

The colleges said it would support students during the industrial action.

It is the third time strikes have been held.

The colleges said they were attempting to combine two existing lesson observation policies at the two institutions, which merged in 2016. Under the plans, teachers would have five days notice of an observation and be graded from one to four.

The colleges group said amendments to the plan had been rejected by the union.

'Subjective and unreliable'

"We value all of our teachers and we are deeply saddened by the decision of the NEU to take strike action," Principal and CEO of Shrewsbury Colleges Group James Staniforth said.

Jean Evanson, from the union, claimed the colleges were "not prepared to make the amendments to the policy that the union asked for to make it a truly ungraded policy".

"Research shows that any grading of a lesson will be subjective and unreliable," she said.

"The stress of grading observations is a mental health issue, as is the low self-esteem that can follow a negative outcome. The effects can be career-ending for some."

Further strike action is planned on 1 and 2 May.

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