Talks try to ‘draw a line’ under school’s staff troubles

Striking teachers at Leyland St Mary's Catholic Technology College
Striking teachers at Leyland St Mary's Catholic Technology College
Share this article

Bosses at crisis-hit Leyland St Mary’s have been locked in talks with staff in a bid to end a year of turmoil, which led to teachers walking out on strike.

Parents of pupils at the Catholic Technology College were so fed up of internal rows that some have moved their children to other school.

Others complained that they were “being kept in the dark” over the disputes, which saw pickets at the Royal Avenue gates last month after the headteacher returned from “personal leave”.

Now parents have been told that talks took place this week to try to “draw a line” under the troubles.

A joint message said that a meeting took place, off school premises, on Monday between the school, archdiocese, local authority and senior national, regional and local representatives of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers.

A statement to parents said: “The fact that all parties had managed to convene at such short notice is an affirmation of the fact that there was a willingness for all to seek to draw a line under the recent difficult times at the school and move forward in a constructive and positive way.”

A number of action points were agreed which included the school sticking to the Lancashire Local Authority Recruitment and Selection Policy and staff being notified if there are any exceptions.

Governors are setting up a wellbeing working group to develop a school policy, and staff will be consulted.

NASUWT members can serve on the group and the union’s local secretary, who has expertise in wellbeing issues will work with the school on this issue.

Individual complaints as well as issues surrounding performance management will be discussed with Lancashire County Council’s human resources staff in conjunction with the teaching unions.

Kathleen Cooper, chairman of governors at the school said: “The meeting we held with all parties felt like a very positive step, and I am pleased that we were able to agree some action points. I hope we will now continue to move forward together in the same constructive way.”

- For more on this, see next week’s Leyland Guardian.