TEACHERS have gone on strike from Alec Reed Academy in Northolt backed by parents and trade unions.
Staff at the academy in Compton Crescent are said to have excessive work loads, undue pressure and punitive monitoring, causing low morale and high staff turnover.
Demonstrations outside the school have so far spanned three days – on Wednesday last week and then on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Further action is planned for next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Shane Johnschwager of the NASUWT union (National executive member for the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers) said: "We have concerns with the head teacher failing to listen and consult staff on policy and practice as well as with school governance.
"Teachers are not militant and Alec Reed teachers are no different, they want to be in the classroom. It is very unusual for the situation to escalate."
Mr Johnschwager also alleged the school expects staff to work in holidays, evenings and at weekends until after midnight, and said his members have families and a right to their own lives. But he is keen to set up a constructive dialogue with the employer to resolve the dispute.
Secretary of the Ealing National Union of Teachers, Nick Grant, said they want proper union recognition and for teachers to be given professional respect.
He added: "Parents have thanked us, they understand we cannot have a good education system without happy teachers. Pupils are not treated as human beings; it’s level this and level that."
The parent of a year 10 pupil, Sue Davies, of Laughton Road, said: “The children do not have consistent teachers. My daughter has had 10 science teachers since September. She might as well get a book and learn from home.”
A spokesman for Alec Reed Academy said: "The vast majority of staff have been in work during the strike days and do not back the action, with only 11 per cent of staff striking. However, the strike is having an impact on the education of some secondary phase students, with years seven and eight having to stay at home on strike days.
“Since becoming an academy in 2003 we have worked hard to raise standards and have seen real improvement. We must work together so that pupils receive the excellent education they deserve and the academy has tried on several occasions over the last two months to engage in meetings with the NASUWT but without success.”
They said the academy has spoken to Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) in the hope unions will agree to talk, and are awaiting a response.