News | Richard Gurner | Published: 11:38, Monday January 20th, 2020.
Last updated: 11:38, Monday January 20th, 2020
Teachers fearing for their safety at Lewis School Pengam over the behaviour of some pupils have voted to no longer teach them.
Twenty-four members of the the National Association of Schoolmasters / Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) have voted in favour of industrial action in the form of a refusal to teach action.
The union said its 24 members no longer felt safe because of the disruptive behaviour of a group of pupils.
This means if the badly behaved pupils attend a class, the teacher will remove themselves and head for a place of safety.
In effect, it forces authorities to make alternative educational arrangements for the pupils.
Neil Butler NASUWT National Official Wales, said: “The situation is quite delicate really in terms of what’s happening there, and this happens in some schools. If you have a situation where you have a pupil or a group of pupils making our members unsafe we do what’s called a refusal to teach ballot.”
He added: “There has was quite a long period of talking at Lewis School Pengam over a small number of pupils and no progress was made.
“The ballot was successful and there will be a refusal to teach action at the school.”
A spokesman on behalf of the school and Caerphilly County Borough Council said: “We are fully engaged with the union and the teaching staff at Lewis School Pengam to ensure that any concerns raised are addressed.
“All schools face challenges with pupil behaviour at times, but it is important to stress that there are appropriate procedures and support mechanism in place to manage these situations.
“Lewis School Pengam has an excellent track record of attainment and of managing pupil behaviour appropriately, so we are confident that we can bring this matter to an amicable resolution in the interests of all concerned.”
The school had a critical inspection report from schools watchdog Estyn in January 2018 with a rating of “adequate needs improvement” across the five categories of Standards; Wellbeing and attitudes to learning; Teaching and learning experiences; Care, support and guidance; and Leadership and management.
The report read: “A majority of pupils make suitable progress in lessons and have positive attitudes to learning. However, a minority of pupils do not engage fully in lessons and make insufficient progress. A few disrupt the learning of others.”
In November last year, the school was judged to have made enough sufficient progress to no longer need monitoring from Estyn.