Strike hits Lowestoft school

The teachers on strike outside Benjamin Britten High School last week

The teachers on strike outside Benjamin Britten High School last week - Credit: Archant

Teachers have gone on strike this morning at a Lowestoft high school in a row over a pay policy.

Because of the industrial action by the 15 members of the NASUWT at Benjamin Britten High School 200 year 10 students had a day off today.

The NASUWT say it is the first strike action of its kind in Suffolk.

The striking staff members staged a demonstration form 8am outside the school.

Members from the National Union of Teachers at the school also staged a solidarity demonstration before they went into their classes to teach.

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The NASUWT union says action has been called as a result of what it says is the school's failure to agree acceptable arrangements on teachers' working conditions, specifically its attempts to impose what the union calls an unacceptable pay policy on staff.

Further industrial action is planned by both unions from next week.

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Dan McCarthy the NASUWT national executive member for Suffolk joined the strikers and said the strike had been balloted for as a last resort.

He said: 'Hopefully the headteacher may wish to speak to us to resolve this problem'

Keith Anderson, NASUWT's regional representative for the eastern region and who was also at the school, said: 'We don't want to do this. 'Teachers want to teach and be in the classroom.

'It is not a fair pay policy and that is not going to be right for the children here eventually.'

In a statement released yesterday Andrew Hine, headteacher, said: 'The governors at Benjamin Britten High School are committed to raising the standards of achievement for its students.

'They believe that they have introduced a performance-related pay policy which has at its core both the interests of students and teachers.

'A policy which is fair, workable and rewards effective teaching that supports students to make progress.

'This policy has been adopted in other schools in Essex and Suffolk without recourse to industrial action.'

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