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Town’s teachers set for industrial action
HUNDREDS of teachers across the town will be taking action next week in a bid to reduce their workload.
About 1,500 of Swindon’s 1,800 primary and secondary teachers, who are members of the NUT or NASUWT unions, are expected to take part in a stand just short of strike action on Wednesday, October 3.
Andy Woolley, south west regional secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said it is unlikely to affect pupils.
“It is aimed at reducing teachers workload from excessive demands that have been made on them in recent times,” he said.
“What we are looking at is removing unnecessary planning, limiting the number of meetings and cutting the amount of bureaucracy.
“We want to cut things like chasing up pupil absences, which can be done by people who are not qualified teachers.
“It is not strike action and it is not stopping things like after school clubs and activities which teachers have volunteered for.”
Mr Woolley added that the action would continue indefinitely.
“In the schools where there is a problem, teachers will be saying to the head and the governors that what the schools are asking them to do is excessive compared to other schools which are working perfectly well,” he said.
“The pupils themselves probably will not notice because the aim of this is not to affect the pupils.
“It is not to make life more difficult, it is to ensure children can be educated in the same way and teachers have more time for the children, rather than excessive form-filling.”
The NASUWT and the NUT, who are campaigning together, originally planned to take action tomorrow, but changed the date to next week after legal issues arose with notices given.
David Renard , Swindon Council cabinet member for children’s services, said it was too early to determine which schools would be involved.
“What normally happens is when headteachers are aware of action they converse with teaching staff in the school to find out whether they intend to take action or not,” he said.
“We expect to know by the early part of next week.”