Valence Primary teachers to continue strike action

strikers outside the school

Teachers and supporters outside Valence Primary School's site in St Georges Road on the third day of strike action. - Credit: Jon King

Teachers at a school in Dagenham will continue strike action unless their demands are met, according to a union.

National Education Union (NEU) members from Valence Primary want managers to drop plans to cut pay rewards.

Dominic Byrne, NEU secretary for Barking and Dagenham, said: "This will continue for as long as the members stay strong. It's a legitimate dispute following an attack on the terms and conditions of our members."

About 15 staff and supporters formed a picket outside the primary's site in St Georges Road on Thursday, July 8 on the third day of a planned six day strike.

Action is also being taken at the primary's base in Bonham Road.

Mr Byrne said: "It's going well. Although the school is nominally open with some classes on, the curriculum is not being taught."

He criticised Barking and Dagenham Council, alleging it was allowing the school to deploy other staff to break the strike by taking classes.

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On the impact on pupils, who have already lost time in school due to Covid-19, Mr Byrne said: "Haven't the staff also been through a lot?

"They kept the school open, risked their own health and that of their families. Why, after people made those sacrifices, would you target them?"

The school says the changes are part of a management restructuring due to come into effect in 2024.

It added that a drop in pupil numbers has seen funding cut to the point where it cannot sustain current pay levels.

The disagreement centres on pay rewards for extra responsibilities undertaken by teachers.

The primary wants to bring their number, level and value in line with similarly sized schools.

But the NEU says the savings amount to less than £50,000 a year and could be found elsewhere.

The council did not respond to the Post's request for comment before its deadline.