General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Teachers strike over pupil attack


13/10/2008 :: Northern Ireland :: BBC News

Twenty five teachers at a school in Newtownards, County Down, have gone on strike over a dispute concerning a pupil who assaulted a teacher.

The staff, who are NASUWT union members, said they had been unfairly penalised for refusing to teach the student at Movilla High School.

They claim they have been stopped from taking whole classes where the pupil is present and have had their pay docked.

Pupils have been sent home from school for the day.

NASUWT members in the school voted to refuse to teach the pupil after the assault, but said they made it clear to management that they intended to teach all other pupils.

Seamus Searson, Northern Ireland organiser for the NASUWT, said: "All along we have made it clear that our members want to continue teaching their classes, but this particular pupil needs a new start with specialised support.

"Clearly we cannot tolerate a situation where our members are not paid for the work they are doing, and where, in effect, all the pupils are being punished for the behaviour of one.

"The failure of the South Eastern Education and Library Board to provide proper support for this pupil is having a devastating impact on teachers and students alike."



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