St Wilfrid’s Catholic High School closed as teachers walk out on strike

Strike at St Wilfrid's Catholic High School, Featherstone. Picture courtesy of Sally Kincaid (@littleredsal)
Strike at St Wilfrid's Catholic High School, Featherstone. Picture courtesy of Sally Kincaid (@littleredsal)

Teachers at St Wilfrid’s Catholic High School have walked out on strike in a dispute over “leadership and management issues.”

The Featherstone school is closed to pupils today (Tuesday) due to the walk out by members of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), the National Union of Teachers and Unison.

The unions are also planning five days of further strikes in November.

Celia Foote, national executive member for the NASUWT, said: “The strike action is completely avoidable.

“The NASUWT has made every effort to secure an agreed way forward through genuine negotiation with the employer and ACAS, but without an outcome that has effectively addressed the serious concerns of members.

“Members have been subjected to unacceptable behaviour.

“Despite recent changes, members remain to be convinced that the underlying culture and processes have changed.”

Mrs Foote said members had “no faith or confidence that matters at the school will improve.”

She said: “A school cannot function without this faith and confidence – it is just not acceptable that professionals who have the best interests of the pupils in mind are treated so poorly and their views ignored.”

Helen Gilroy, acting headteacher at the school, said the school would be closed to all students because the strike “meant it was not possible to know how many staff would be at work.”

She said special provision had been made for students who were sitting an examination and that it will go ahead as planned.

Further strikes are planned for November 10, 11, 17, 18 and 19.

She said: “Once more is known about the numbers of staff available during any potential future strike action, the school would be looking at ways to put in place support for students, particularly those in years 11 and 13.”