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Strike closes Central Foundation School with 1,300 pupils left at home

PUBLISHED: 18:20 25 April 2012 | UPDATED: 18:25 25 April 2012

Pickets outside Central Foundation School

Pickets outside Central Foundation School

© Guy Smallman All rights reserved.

A teachers strike closed a large secondary school today (Weds) in London's East End with 1,300 pupils having to stay at home.

The walk-out at Central Foundation Girls’ School was called by the teachers’ union, the NUT, and support workers’ union Unison, after talks over pay and conditions ended without formal agreement on Monday.

Pickets were staged outside the school entrance in Bow by members of both unions, involving up to 90 teachers and 70 other staff.

“Support for the strike was 100 per cent,” Unison’s strike co-ordinator John McLoughlin told the Advertiser. “It was a total shut-down—but we did give dispensation for a limited number of staff for pupils facing their exams.”

The one-day stoppage is the first of a series of industrial actions planned, in opposition to redundancies and changing key support staff like lab technicians from all-year-round contracts to term-time only which they say means a cut in pay.

Teachers are also objecting to their non-classroom time being cut which they fear means more workload and less time for admin, marking or one-to-one tuition.

Talks were held at Tower Hamlets council offices on Monday with head teacher Esther Holland and school governors’ chairman John Cruise.

The unions were still waiting for a written response yesterday and say they’ll go ahead with more industrial action if their demands aren’t met.

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