Hastings teachers to stage more strikes

Teachers in Hastings are staging three more strikes this week.

Members of the National Education Union (NEU) said the latest industrial action is part of an ongoing dispute over ‘excessive workload increases and job cuts’ linked to school funding across the University of Brighton Academies Trust.

The walk-outs will take place tomorrow (Tuesday, July 9), Wednesday (July 10) and Thursday (July 11).

The industrial action will take place across four schools in Hastings and one school in Burgess Hill, West Sussex.

There will be pickets at both The Hastings and St Leonards Academies, Baird Academy and Robsack Wood Academy, as well as Burgess Hill Academy.

The NEU said the funding situation has meant overall the trust has been taking double the national average amount of money from schools compared to other multi-academy trusts. This has seen, in some cases, up to 28 per cent of funding not reaching the school, the union added.

Phil Clarke, East Sussex branch secretary and vice-president, said: “We had made real progress with the trust over changing the indefensible funding model they had in place for their schools.

“It is very disappointing to find that they are now not meeting with us to ensure that in the future school funding is fully protected. We cannot understand why they have done nothing to avert the strikes this week.

“Unfortunately, it has only re-enforced our members’ views that the trust leadership will not follow through on promises made to correct the mess they are in.”

Last week, members of the NEU staged industrial action over two days at the four schools in Hastings and St Leonards.

A rally was also held in Hastings town centre, in which parents of children who attend the affected schools, joined in support.

A spokesperson for the University of Brighton Academies Trust said: “Discussions between the trust and the National Education Union (NEU) are ongoing. The trust has listened to the concerns raised and has shown a commitment to implementing changes.

“Regrettably, these measures have not been sufficient to prevent the NEU proceeding with industrial action at five of our 14 academies across East and West Sussex.

“The trust remains committed to ongoing negotiations with the NEU to prevent future industrial action and to resolve the dispute. During these talks, we are unable to comment further.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.