Family & Education

King Solomon: head has ‘unwavering support’ of parents as strikes loom

Chair of governors says they share ‘anger and despair’ of parents at planned disruption by NEU teachers


King Solomon High School (LInked-In)

The chair of governors of King Solomon High School in Redbridge has claimed “unwavering support” from parents for its head as National Union of Education teachers at the school prepare for a wave of strikes that are due to begin tomorrow.

Headteacher Michele Phillips, who took over at the state-aided secondary last September, has rejected two demands from the union over implementing improvement plans.

Governors chair Brian Westbury said after a meeting on Monday evening attended by 200 people that he was “hugely encouraged by the unwavering support for the headteacher’s and her senior leadership’s team plan to improve the school”.

The school — which was ranked as requiring improvement by Ofsted in 2021 — is set to close on Wednesday and Thursday to all but those in their GCSE and A-level years. Another six days of strike action have been scheduled for the following three weeks.

Dr Westbury said, “As governors and members of the local community, we share the anger and despair displayed by parents towards the NEU in the meeting last night.”

In his statement, he said, “No school in the country can agree, or has ever agreed, to the legally unprecedented demand from the NEU for a guarantee that staff currently being monitored to improve their teaching will not progress to more formal procedures.

“The NEU are also demanding that lesson observations of teachers are capped at three times a year. With 15 of the 17 demands from the NEU already met or already actioned, we call upon the NEU to do what parents, pupils and the vast majority of their teaching colleagues are demanding, and support children’s desire for an excellent education by staying in the classroom.”

The union is due to hold a Zoom meeting for parents on Wednesday to explain its position.

It has previously said that the school had “refused to negotiate on any of the serious and concerning issues raised by NEU members. These include misuse of capability procedure, management style, excessive workload and a lack of consultation.”

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