We’re teachers and we’re going on STRIKE because we're too scared to go to school after assaults from ‘violent’ pupils | The Sun
TEACHERS are going on strike because they're too scared to go to school after assaults from "violent" pupils.
Staff plan to walk out this Thursday and again a week later in protest after a series of attacks at Caldicot Comprehensive School in Monmouthshire, south Wales.
Unions say teachers have had enough after enduring years of bad behaviour by kids at the 1,300-pupil secondary school.
But council chiefs have accused them of letting down children and parents close to the start of the new school term.
Teachers have revealed they don't feel safe turning up to work because of students' "violent and abusive" behaviour.
The school will now be entirely closed on Thursday and again on September 28, after the strikes announced by the NASUWT union.
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Another four walk-outs on consecutive days next month have also been threatened.
NASUWT general secretary Dr Patrick Roach said: "Teachers cannot teach and pupils cannot learn in an environment where there is disruption and violence.
"Poor pupil behaviour cannot be explained away by attributing it to a teacher's ability to plan and deliver lessons appropriately – something which parents and the public accept.
"Despite clear assurances to the contrary, Caldicot School has failed in their most basic commitment to support teachers.
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"Monmouthshire Council cannot ignore its responsibilities and obligations towards its employees or to the pupils in their care."
The union said it had been wrangling with school chiefs since 2019 to help resolve "ongoing concerns about its management".
But the school was "failing to provide appropriate support to staff in dealing with violent and abusive behaviour", the NASUWT added.
Dr Roach went on: "By choosing to strike, our members are sending a clear message that they will not tolerate threats to the health, safety and wellbeing of themselves or their pupils.
"Nor will they accept management's attempts at intimidation when attempting to stand up for their rights at work."
Some 85 per cent of union members voted in favour of strike action when a ballot was held in July.
Almost half of the school's 80 teachers, 35 in total, are NASUWT members.
Another teaching union, the National Education Union, has a ballot on possible industrial action still open.
The school referred enquiries to the local authority.
A Monmouthshire County Council spokesman said: "We are disappointed that NASUWT has taken the decision to go ahead with its first indicative day of industrial action at Caldicot School and recognise that this action, so close to the start of term, will cause concerns for parents and learners.
"First and foremost, this is an issue for the school governing body and leadership team to resolve with the NASUWT.
"The current situation is not in the interests of anyone connected with the school or the community it serves.
"We have been working closely with both the school leadership and NASUWT to help them resolve the school-based issues that have led to this decision.
"We will continue this work and to advocate for a swift resolution on behalf of all of the school's learners."
It was revealed last year how anti-social gangs of children as young as ten made the surrounding Caldicot town centre a no-go zone for frightened residents.
Cops imposed dispersal orders across the town centre and in nearby residential streets to stop gangs from hanging around.
The postcode covering Caldicot, NP26, had previously been named one of Wales's most desirable places to live, in a Royal Mail survey.
Nationwide school strikes were planned for this month.
But they were called off as unions agreed a deal with Rishi Sunak's government in July and recommended members accept a 6.5 per cent pay rise.
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