King Solomon High School strikes called off

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King Solomon High School strikes called off

Row settled between teaching staff and head teacher and governors

King Solomon school in Ilford, Essex
King Solomon school in Ilford, Essex

A planned eight-day teacher strike at King Solomon High School has been called off three days in. .

Thirty-eight members of staff at Essex’s only Jewish secondary school had voted for eight days of strikes because of a dispute with head teacher Michele Phillips and the school governors over teaching supervision. National Union of Education members were seeking guarantees that monitoring of staff to improve teaching would not become more formal procedures. The demand added that such lesson supervision should be restricted to three times a year.

Parents — furious at the prospect of the strikes crippling the school — backed the head teacher and governors. One parent, speaking anonymously, told Jewish News: “Our children have already had to endure numerous lesson cancellations due to illness and shortages of teachers. This strike is totally unacceptable in such a crucial stage of their education.  We appreciate that the teachers work hard and do not like all the changes that are being introduced, however these are necessary to bring the school out of requires improvement.  For the teachers to further impact the shortcomings of this year’s teaching levels by striking is selfish, and only impacts the children’s education further.”

Fifty members of staff in total are in the NEU, though not all voted for strike action.

The district secretary of Redbridge NEU told JN two weeks ago that “members of the NEU are keen to avoid strike action and are calling on parents to write to the headteacher and the local authority to help resolve the dispute.

“A Zoom meeting for parents of King Solomon High School will be called on Wednesday 27 March to give them more details about the dispute.” This meeting is now likely to inform parents about the strikes being called off.

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