Striking teachers: ‘No one is listening’

Staff strike over mounting workload

Friday, 14th May 2021 — By Helen Chapman

Picket line

The picket line Wednesday morning

Teachers gathered outside a leading college in Angel on Wednesday with placards on the first day of a staff strike.

National Education Union (NEU) members at City and Islington Sixth Form College (Candi), pictured, say problems at the school began last September when new management took over and the workload on teachers started to mount.

Pippa Dowswell, NEU rep at Candi, said: “What used to be a great place to work, a great place to be a student, is being destroyed because no one will listen to us about what we think.”

One issue includes management asking teachers to stay after school hours to carry out enrolment interviews. Historically this has taken place over two days off timetable.

Ms Dowswell said: “We were told this at about a week’s notice. Everything was last minute. We also had lesson observations during the pandemic which is against union policy and they started grading the lessons as well which Ofsted do not even do. We asked that this was stopped and that was refused.”

A spokesperson for Capital City College Group, of which City and Islington College is part, said that their doors are open and want to talk. “We refute the NEU’s position and appeal to them not to continue down this course and instead engage with us positively so that we can continue to work together.”

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