Teachers at Bridgend school strike over 'unrealistic expectations'

Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School
Image caption Teachers are set to strike at Archbishop McGrath school on 15, 16, 29 and 30 January

Teachers at a south Wales secondary school have begun a strike over "unrealistic expectations and unreasonable deadlines".

NASUWT members at Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School in Bridgend began four days of action on Wednesday.

The school said in a statement "a series of actions has been agreed which are now being implemented".

It said this followed a "positive meeting" on Monday between the head teacher, governing body and NASUWT.

"While it is disappointing to see the industrial action going ahead despite this positive development, the school is confident that work with the NASUWT will continue, and that further disruption for pupils can be avoided," the statement added.

The union said 45 members went on strike. The school was closed for pupils in years seven to 10.

But Bridgend council said that out of 55 teachers, 36 took industrial action on Wednesday.

Image caption Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School in Bridgend has about 800 pupils on roll

NASUWT alleged "adverse management practices" at the school, and said members were striking "due to the repeated failure of the employer to take seriously their concerns about the way in which they are being managed".

The union's acting general secretary, Chris Keates, said: "Members have reported extremely high levels of work-related stress and anxiety as a result of unrealistic expectations and unreasonable deadlines being imposed on them.

"When they have attempted to discuss this with the employer their concerns have been dismissed."

She added that union members "regret any disruption" but felt "they have been left with no choice" other than to strike on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, and again in two weeks' time.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of Cardiff said it was disappointed with the strike as it had been working to address concerns.

It added: "While actions have already been agreed, and are being implemented, the school will continue to work with NASUWT in order to reach a resolution which will avoid further disruption to pupils and their parents."

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