Teachers at the St Ives secondary school plan to walk out tomorrow lunchtime (Tuesday) as part of the early stages of their strike action.  

Members of the NASUWT teaching union at St Ivo Academy will be participating in action short of strike action.    

This is when employees continue to work but withdraw some of their labour running up to next month's full strike action.  

The school, which is run by the Astrea Academy Trust, has been criticised for its controversial behaviour policies and approach to teaching.  

Mark Burns, who represents NASUWT members in Cambridgeshire, says teachers feel the trust “undermines their professional autonomy”. 

He said: “Realistically nobody wants to strike, but morale among staff has already hit rock bottom and it’s only the start of term.  

“We’re anticipating between 30 and 40 members will walk out, and if Astrea won’t talk, we will keep going until the first full day of strike action on October 10.” 

The Hunts Post: Mark Burns, the NASUWT National Executive who represents the union’s members in Cambridgeshire.Mark Burns, the NASUWT National Executive who represents the union’s members in Cambridgeshire. (Image: NASUWT)

Other dates for strikes have been set for November 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9.     

An Astrea spokesperson said: “We continue to work hard to avoid any disruption to students’ education and to achieve the workload reductions and behaviour improvements that both the school and NASUWT want to see.   

“It’s also important to recognise that the union’s action at St Ivo reflects the NASUWT’s wider national position announced this week, where union members across the country are being invited to also take action short of strikes.” 

She went on to say the trust values staff “highly” and is “firmly committed to reducing workload”.  

“It is in nobody’s interest for there to be industrial action of any kind,” she added. 

"… we are confident that given we share so many objectives on workload and behaviour improvements that we can find a way forward for positive and constructive engagement with the NASUWT.” 

Commenting on the strikes, the St Ivo Parents Forum said: “We really want to see Astrea engage with teachers in good faith so [industrial action] can be avoided.”