Bristol

Teachers in Thornbury strike over 'excessive workloads'

Castle school strike Image copyright Jon Timbrell
Image caption The school was closed to students but remained open for staff not participating in the strike

Teachers at a school in South Gloucestershire have gone on strike over what they say is an "excessive workload".

Members of the National Education Union (NEU) at Castle School in Thornbury said cuts to staffing had led to the problems.

The NEU said it was forced to take action as "overworked staff" had less time and had to "protect" students.

The school said it "recognised the genuine concerns about workload".

One of the teachers, Leo Nikolaides, said: "The way to think about it is that workload affects everything.

"The more we are snowed under with things, the less time we have to look after the wellbeing of students, the less time we can look after each other.

"For the school to be a healthy, supportive, safe place - we just can't be overworked."

'Highly inconvenient'

In a letter to parents, head teacher Will Roberts said closing the school due to the strike was "highly inconvenient".

"We recognise that there are national issues relating to teacher workload, which affect teachers across the country," he said.

"Much of this relates to the intensity of term-time working patterns, although this is of course balanced by generous holiday arrangements."

He added the school was "saddened" the union had chosen to take industrial action but "recognised that this academic year has been difficult for staff at The Castle".

The union said further strikes were scheduled for later in July and September.

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