A school will close for two days after teachers voted to take industrial action following the threat of redundancies.
Avonmore Primary in West Kensington will shut on Wednesday and Thursday (May 17 and 18) after teachers unanimously voted to walk out because of a dispute over job losses and related staffing issues.
They say proposals by Avonmore’s governing body threatens the quality of education provided to pupils with special needs.
The teachers have written a letter to parents which was handed out outside the school gates on Friday (May 12) afternoon, explaining their actions.
In it, teachers at the school in Avonmore Road say the governing body has decided to lay off three members of staff, including two teachers, in a bid to save money.
The letter reads: “They have also decided to change the way children with special needs are supported and we do not agree that the proposed changes will be helpful for children or staff.
“The post of Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) will be abolished and the roles, which include statutory duties for a school, are to be incorporated into a new Deputy Head role.
“We do not believe that such an important, time consuming, job can be done as just another task for someone who potentially does not have the necessary training for the role.
“The Reading Recovery post will also be deleted and the member of staff dismissed.
“The loss of these two positions, we believe, will be extremely detrimental to students learning.”
School funding is being threatened by the Fair Funding Formula which the government is looking to introduce . It would see budgets cut by up to 10%.
In their letter, the teachers say this is a driving factor behind the redundancy decision: “These changes have been based on the rationale of saving money due to Government cuts.
“We do not believe that the management of the school have justified these steps.
“We also do not think they have given assurance on the biggest issues concerning the school – the impact on student learning and staff wellbeing.”
Staff say they have held meetings with management but their fears remain.
They also say a walk-out on Wednesday (May 10) was postponed so as not to disrupt pupils sitting SATs exams.
The strike was called by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) , with all eight teachers balloted opting to walk-out.
A spokesperson for the Hammersmith & Fulham branch of the union said: “The National Union of Teachers do not take industrial action lightly and look forward to further meaningful discussions to resolve these issues.”
The chair of governors Joe Carlebach said: “We deeply regret that our children and their families will be impacted by the Industrial Action called by the NUT in our school next week over two days.
“We recognise the significant impact that this action will have on all concerned especially parents who will have to find child care at very short notice and children who will lose out on their education.
“Our priority has always been and will continue to be the educational outcomes and life chances of our children.
“We hope that a resolution to this dispute can be found soon.”
According to the school’s website, Avonmore has one class of 30 student places for each school year, from Reception through to Year 6, and 25 full-time places for nursery.
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