Strike threat over teacher sacked for wearing trainers in class

COLLEAGUES of sacked teacher Adrian Swain begin the New Year in East London threatening to strike when school returns after the holiday. The PE and special needs teacher was dismissed from St Paul’s Way school in Bow Common for breaching a new staff dress code’ by wearing trainers in class

By Gemma Collins

COLLEAGUES of sacked teacher Adrian Swain begin the New Year in East London threatening to strike when school returns after the holiday.

The PE and special needs teacher was dismissed from St Paul’s Way school in Bow Common for breaching a new staff dress code’ by wearing trainers in class.

He lost an appeal to Tower Hamlets council, first revealed by the East London Advertiser last term, for misconduct’ for failing to adhere to a new dress code at the school where he has taught for 17 years.

His fellow teachers have this week called for a ballot for industrial action, the 57-year-old National Union of Teachers rep said.


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Mr Swain, who has worn trainers and tracksuit throughout his 17 years at the school, insists the acting head should have consulted staff before imposing the new rules which included banning jeans, hooded jumpers and tracksuits as well as trainers.

Mr Swain refused to change, despite a formal warning, and was dismissed at a special Tower Hamlets education authority hearing last week for “refusing to abide by reasonable management instruction to dress sensibly.”

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“The teachers have requested a strike ballot,” he told the Advertiser. “There will be a meeting next term when they decide whether to strike.”

He could not adopt the new dress code as a teachers’ union rep, he added, because it would mean “accepting something introduced without the union being consulted.”

Tower Hamlets council confirmed a teacher was fired for failing to comply with a management instruction.

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