Teachers at special needs school choose not to strike “for sake of pupils”

Teachers at a special needs school chose not to strike today because they feared disrupting their pupils’ routine would not be good for them.

Despite staff members having “issues around pensions”, the full workforce at Ian Mikardo school decided not to take to the picket line, for the sake of their pupils.

They went into work at the Bromley-by-Bow school, which caters for 11 to 16-year-olds, while thousands of other teaching staff across Tower Hamlets joined the mass protests.

The school said in a statement: “The matter was considered extremely carefully. Given that we work with children who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties we deemed that to strike would be disruptive to the environment that we are trying to create.

“We also do not want to involve them in our battles with the government given their own relationship with society.”

Meanwhile, a head teacher has said she was able to keep the two primary schools she runs open because only 11 teachers out of 59 opted to strike.

Amanda Phillips, who runs Culloden and Old Ford primaries, said today: “We have been able to open every class from nursery to year 6. We have a staff team that works across the schools and so we have enough teachers.”

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Ms Phillips said agency staff who had already been employed to work at the school were also helping to fill in but said they were not specifically booked to cover those on strike.

She added: “Nobody has been booked for today that wasn’t booked well before last Friday.”

The law currently prevents employers booking agency staff to replace striking workers.