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Teachers may strike in protest at running of school

PUBLISHED: 14:01 05 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:43 05 February 2020

Teachers at the school have now been balloted for strike action. Photo: Nick Butcher

Teachers at the school have now been balloted for strike action. Photo: Nick Butcher

Teachers could strike in protest at the running of their school after making a series of allegations.

Staff at Poplars Primary School have made allegations about how it was run. Pictured is chief executive of Evolution Acadmey Trust Lynsey Holzer. The EAT said it had carried out an investigation into the allegations. Photo: Nick ButcherStaff at Poplars Primary School have made allegations about how it was run. Pictured is chief executive of Evolution Acadmey Trust Lynsey Holzer. The EAT said it had carried out an investigation into the allegations. Photo: Nick Butcher

Some staff at Poplars Primary School in Lowestoft have made claims about the school and the academy chain behind it, the Evolution Academies Trust (EAT).

According to a letter written to this newspaper by a group of teachers there has been "colossal" staff turnover.

The staff, who have asked to remain anonymous, were balloted on strike action last week and are now awaiting the result of the vote.

One teacher said: "We wouldn't have balloted if we weren't all voting to strike."

A parent, who also asked not to be named, said: "I would support them striking 100pc."

But a spokesman for the Evolution Academies Trust said that any industrial action would impact children's education.

"The education and safety of all our pupils is our paramount focus," they said.

"We also attach great importance to the wellbeing of staff across the 12 schools within the Trust.

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"This is supported by robust procedures the Trust has in place to deal with any complaints or concerns.

"The allegations that have been made, many of which relate to the period before Poplars joined the Trust, were taken very seriously and investigated independently by an experienced chief executive of a Multi Academy Trust in Essex - with recommendations quickly implemented by the Trust."

The spokesman added that the Trust was open to talks to try to resolve any concerns and were disappointed that the union had balloted for strike action.

"We have asked the union to participate in conciliation through ACAS and this offer remains open.

"If industrial action is taken it will, unfortunately but inevitably, have an impact on our pupils' education. We shall do all we can to minimise that impact.

"Poplars Primary School has made great strides since it joined Evolution Academy Trust and we want to ensure that progress continues with minimum disruption."

NASUWT Acting General Secretary Chris Keates said: "The NASUWT has lodged a dispute with the school.

"The union hopes that issues can be resolved through constructive dialogue.

The school's headteacher is currently Ali England, who took over from Georgina Stowers in April last year.

The school is rated as "good" by Ofsted.


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