Hundreds of pupils sent home as 40 teachers walk out over violence

Hundreds of pupils sent home as 40 teachers walk out over violence and abuse and call for tougher discipline

  • Secondary school sends hundreds of students home after teachers walk out
  • Around 40 staff members went on strike at Heworth Grange School, Gateshead
  • The teachers went on strike over what they claimed was management’s failure to tackle discipline

A secondary school had to send hundreds of pupils home yesterday after dozens of teachers walked out in a protest over violence and abuse.

Around 40 members of staff went on strike over what they claimed was management’s failure to tackle discipline.

The teachers, who are all members of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, say they have faced physical and verbal attacks at Heworth Grange School in Gateshead.

Around 40 members of staff went on strike at Heworth Grange School, Gateshead over what they claimed was management’s failure to tackle discipline [File photo]

A protest outside the school yesterday was joined by a number of sixth formers. Classes for years seven, eight, nine and ten – pupils aged 11 to 15 – were closed. Year 11 and the sixth form stayed open.


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Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT, said: ‘Teachers are entitled to a safe working environment’ [File photo]

John Hall of NASUWT, said teachers wanted tougher sanctions, adding: ‘If there is physical abuse, then they should look at permanent exclusion or alternative provision.’

The union said more strike days were planned for March but it hoped the issues would be resolved. 

Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT, said: ‘Teachers are entitled to a safe working environment.’

Head Chris Richardson said new systems have been put in place to tackle discipline, adding that he was ‘saddened and disappointed’ by the strike. 

The school was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted in 2017 and last year became an academy.

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