Teachers at academy rated inadequate over bullying go on strike

Teachers at academy rated inadequate over bullying, racism, homophobia and vandalism go on strike over fears they are not safe teaching the pupils

Teachers at a Kent academy have taken the decision to walk out on strike today over concerns over staff safety due to the behavior of pupils. 

Staff at the Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey will join the picket line today after the National Education Union (NEU) announced that ‘negotiations over the safe management of poor pupil behaviour and staff and pupil safety failed to meet member demands.’

The academy was rated inadequate by Ofsted in August 2022 due to concerns over ‘bullying, racism, homophobia, vandalism and pupil’s understanding of sexual consent.’ 

In a statement it said it will be ‘offering online study materials to all students to minimise the disruption.’ 

The academy is based in two sites in Sheerness and Minster, and was placed into special measures by Ofsted in August 2022. 

Staff at the Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey will join the picket line today over concerns for their safety

Schools are rated on a sliding scale from Outstanding at the top, through to Good, Requires Improvement, and ending on Inadequate, at the bottom.

Once a school is deemed inadequate it can be judged to have Serious Weaknesses and placed into Special Measures. 

The report found that ‘poor attendance and uncontrolled behaviour of pupils [were] the biggest barriers to pupils achieving well’ in the school and that ‘suspensions and expulsions [were] very high.’ 

It stated that the pupils had no ‘no trust in, or respect for their school and that ‘vandalism, including offensive graffiti, poor behaviour and bad language [were] rife.’ 

READ MORE: Interactive map reveals Ofsted’s worst-rated secondary schools in England

Shockingly, inspectors noted that ‘sexist, homophobic and racist language regularly [went] unchallenged during their visit and that pupil’s were not adequately clued up on sex education. 

It stated: ‘Pupils had limited understanding of concepts such as consent and did not know the legal implications of sending ‘nudes’ to each other, even though they said this happened a lot.’ 

Since the report was filed, inspectors have visited the school twice and noted some improvements. 

A new trust has since been appointed at the school and proposals are in place for it to be split into two new schools. 

Despite this, further strike action by teachers has been scheduled for 28 and 29 November and 5 to 7 December. 

Reacting to the disruption, a spokesman for the NEU said: ‘Teachers at the school have been calling for fixed exclusion tariffs of 10 days for assaults or threats of assaults against staff and pupils following numerous incidences of pupil threats and violence.

‘The issue of staff and pupil safety in the face of widespread and deteriorating behaviour remain unresolved.’

Nick Childs, from the NEU said: ‘It is regrettable that strike action has been unavoidable.

‘The Oasis Trust have been aware of staff safety concerns for many months and the union has been clear about the decisive action required to address the unacceptable working and learning environment.

‘Behaviour at the school is currently completely unacceptable.’

In a statement, the Oasis Academy said: ‘We remain committed to working positively with staff representatives to try and avoid any future disruption, and to ensure that Oasis Academy is a school where everybody can thrive. 

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