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Letter sent to parents named teaching staff going on strike

Concern has been raised by teachers' union after the head of Smith's Wood Primary School named staff about to strike in a letter to parents

Teachers across the country took part in strike action on October 1, this year.
Teachers across the country took part in strike action on October 1, this year.

A TEACHERS’ union has slammed a head’s decision to name members of staff taking part in strike action in a letter sent out to parents.

The letter, signed by Smith’s Wood Community Primary School’s headteacher John Talbot, identified those employees who were due to take part in industrial action against pay and working conditions on October 1.

The NASUWT Teachers’ Union said the move could be a breach of the Data Protection Act but Mr Talbot has defended his actions.

The head told the Solihull News: “If a school is to close, parents need to know in advance so they can make childcare arrangements. A letter home is a practical, reasonable method of communicating with parents. Common sense should prevail.”

The NASUWT said in a statement the school had also named members of staff in a similar letter sent to parents ahead of strike action two years ago.

“While we fully understand the need to inform parents of the arrangements made when staff are taking industrial action, there was no need to name the staff involved in a letter and we consider that this may constitute a breach of the Data Protection Act,” the NASUWT statement reads.

“We wrote to Mr Talbot regarding this in 2011 when all the public sector unions took action over pensions and he wrote a similar letter. Despite knowing our concerns, he proceeded to name staff again. We have referred this matter to our legal department and it has been raised by our local officers with the council as an incident under the Data Protection Policy.”

Councillor Chris Williams (Green, Chelmsley Wood), who raised the matter at a Full Council meeting last month, said he had concerns that relations between staff and parents would be affected.

Leader of the Council, Ken Meeson, said at the time that the local authority was looking into the matter.

 

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