Staff at Long Stratton High to be surveyed on industrial action in row over expelling pupil

Long Stratton High School.

Long Stratton High School. - Credit: EDP pics © 2007

Staff at a high school are being consulted about holding a ballot on industrial action, following a row with governors.

The survey comes after governors at Long Stratton High School over-ruled a decision by headteacher John Wilson to permanently exclude a boy who brought a blade to school in November.

Police gave the boy a youth conditional caution late in December.

Staff, who sent a formal letter of complaint to governors in December, had been told a solution had been organised, but after hearing last Friday that this had fallen through, they organised a meeting with unions on Thursday.

Bev Foreman, deputy head at Long Stratton High School said: 'Yesterday afternoon, some of our staff met with their union representatives and it was agreed that the unions would write to all of their members to survey their views about taking action, short of a strike.

'The unions will assess the responses and report back in due course. This may or may not include the need for a ballot.

'This consultation between unions and their members is part of a standard formal procedure and I'd like to reassure everyone that the whole school community is working hard to resolve this issue. I am confident that we can do this and avoid the need for any action to be taken.

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'I'd also like to reassure everyone that the safety and wellbeing of all our pupils, staff and parents at Long Stratton High is our top priority and we are all working very hard to ensure that this continues to be maintained at our school.'

Unions said they were unable to comment on the situation.

A Long Stratton parent, who asked not to be named, said a number of people with children at the school felt very strongly about the issue.

He added: 'I think it's a fundamental issue that really needs to not go away. I think the teachers feel strong enough to hopefully take it further.

'You can't have a situation where children bring knives into school.'

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