Strike averted at Fortismere School

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Haringey Independent: Photograph of the Author by

Teachers at Fortismere School in Muswell Hill have called off strike action following a meeting between the NUT and the school's governors.

Staff were threatening to strike following allegations of bullying in the workplace, inconsistent pay scales, unfair recruitment procedures, excessive workloads, and "harsh" treatment of union members.

In a letter to members, Haringey NUT secretary Julie Davies wrote: "The list of problems at Fortismere is a long one and it has been growing for some time.

"Our recent survey produced a large number of criticisms of basic management in the school and there is evidence of bullying."

The school and the NUT released a joint statement following yesterday's meeting: "Following a very productive meeting between the headteacher and governors and NUT representatives on the May 19 we have all agreed to work together on a number of matters.

"There will be a three-year piece of work aimed at ensuring that all staff feel supported and engaged. Working with an external organisation we will conduct a comprehensive survey of all staff looking at matters including workload, communication and working environment.

"We will also establish a staff forum with members of the teaching and support staff and their trade union representatives. This will be a real opportunity for staff to raise concerns and questions and will be a key part of communication and engagement.

"We have also agreed to work together to resolve specific issues raised by the NUT and its members and to this end, Paul Smith, the head of schools HR from the local authority, will be working with all parties to seek resolutions that are acceptable to all.

"The governors, headteacher and NUT representatives at the meeting agreed that, in order for the school to continue to move forward, it is essential that the school has skilled and motivated employees who are well led and supported by the school leadership and governing body."

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