(Report and picture from Mike Thompson)
More than 50 teachers at Gateway Sixth Form College, Leicester, took strike action on Tuesday 14 January as part of a dispute over classroom observation policy. The policy, imposed without proper consultation, is a charter for bullying.
Today’s strike action by NUT members is the first of five days of action over the next week. Further strikes are due to take place on Thursday 16 January and a three-day strike starting on Tuesday 21 January.
The protest demonstration at the gates of the college was very well supported. Teachers on the picket told me how the unannounced observation by management and governors was used to harass and intimidate them. This is taking place against the background of both the Tories and Labour looking to make it easier for teachers to be sacked, claiming that standards would rise. One of the striking teachers said, “The only thing being raised is the stress levels amongst staff’.