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EDITIONS
Thursday, 30 November, 2000, 11:42 GMT
Strike over assault charge boy dropped
playground
The teacher had been breaking up a playground fight
Teachers have withdrawn a threat of strike action over the education of a pupil, who brought what they say was a "malicious" assault charge against a colleague, after reaching a deal with the school and local authority.

Members of the National Union of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers at Darton High in Barnsley, South Yorkshire were refusing to allow the Year 8 pupil into their lessons, saying he should be expelled.


The union had genuine concerns, we had to go some way to meet those concerns

Mike Anderson, head teacher

The school's governing body and Barnsley Council said the 25 NASUWT members were in breach of their contracts and threatened to freeze their salaries, prompting the threat of industrial action.

But a compromise agreement will now see the boy slowly re-integrated into classes, with any threat to the jobs of those teachers who took part in the boycott of his education lifted. 

The school's head teacher, Mike Anderson, said a meeting between the school governors, representatives of the local authority and the union had been "very productive".

"The union had genuine concerns," Mr Anderson said, "we had to go some way to meet those concerns and that is what we have done."

Re-integration

The boy - who is currently being taught at the school, but outside ordinary classes and not by members of the NASUWT - would gradually be re-integrated into normal lessons, the head confirmed.

The union said the deal reached was acceptable, protecting its members and the education of other pupils at the school by averting strike action.

Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the NASUWT, said the boy would be supervised on a one-to-one level by a "minder teacher" for the next two terms.

"NASUWT members won't teach him for some time. His behaviour will be monitored and if it improves it will be acceptable for him to be back in regular class at a later date," he said.

Playground brawl

The situation arose in October when a teacher broke up a fight between two boys in the playground.

The teacher - whose name has not been revealed - was accused of pinning the boys against a wall when he intervened.

The local education authority looked into the claim, but found no basis to it. The matter was not reported to the police.

One of the boys, who has not attended the school since the half-term holiday, is believed to have moved to another area.

See also:

24 Nov 00 | Education
31 Jul 00 | Education
02 Nov 00 | Education
02 Nov 00 | Education
01 Jun 00 | Unions 2000
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