Teachers have claimed colleagues are being “victimised” for speaking out as they prepare for the second of three walkouts at a Birmingham secondary school .
NASUWT teaching union members have begun a two-day walkout at Castle Vale Performing Arts College, after criticising school leadership and pupil behaviour.
Around 40 members who went on strike on March 7 had agreed to suspend further action following talks between the union, school management and the local authority.
But the union said the latest strike will now go ahead after the school announced disciplinary action against its NASUWT rep, after he spoke to the media about the strike.
The union also claims another staff member was sent home on gardening leave last Thursday “without any satisfactory explanation”.
Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said the union had “done everything possible” to avoid the two new days of industrial action – but claimed that staff had been “victimised”.
But head teacher Clive Owen said he was “concerned and disturbed” staff would again be going on strike.
Ms Keates said: “We entered constructively into the discussions convened by the local authority and had agreed a way forward which enabled us to suspend the strike action.
“There was absolutely no justification for the school to then seek to take punitive action against our representative and another of our members.
‘‘Nothing was said by them to the media which wasn’t already in the public domain.”
NASUWT had previously called for an investigation into management at the school, after highlighting job losses and poor pupil behaviour.
Castle Vale recorded one of the lowest GCSE results in the city in 2011, with just 29 per cent of students gaining the benchmark five or more grades including maths and English. The Birmingham average is just below 58 per cent.
The industrial action comes three months after a protest by students at the school descended into chaos when a thug threw a firework, which narrowly missed a member of staff.
Mr Owen said of today and tomorrow’s strikes: “I am very concerned and disturbed that despite us meeting the NASUWT representatives last week and coming to an agreement on a way forward, the union has chosen to take action.
“This is damaging the education of our children across the age range.”