Now teachers at race row school threaten to STRIKE: Pimlico Academy staff say they will leave next semester due to ‘overwhelming’ workload and safety concerns
- Staff say they will walk away if the school refuses to address management issues
- They want an independent investigation into security issues and an apology
- Comes after a racing feud in which the Union flag was burned and the student protested on the grounds
Teachers from the troubled Pimlico Academy will go on strike after half-time if a series of demands are not met after a race brawl at the school.
Staff say they will walk away if the crisis-hit school refuses to address management issues and concerns about an unsafe work environment.
They want an independent investigation into security issues, an apology for how the school has been run over the past year, and a pledge to review the “overwhelming” workload among teachers.
It comes after the school’s principal, Daniel Smith, quit his job less than a year after being accused of racism and discrimination.
Pimlico Academy in Westminster when the Union flag was still outside the main gate before it was pulled down following protests from students and parents
The disciplinary ‘Mr Smith’ introduced a ‘back to basics’ uniform policy after starting school in September 2020.
This included banning hairstyles that ‘block people’s view’ and hijabs that are ‘too colorful’.
Critics claimed this discriminated against Muslims and those with Afro hairstyles at the school – where three-quarters of the children are from ethnic minorities – and a mass protest was held by students and staff on March 31.
Today, half a dozen concerned parents gathered outside the school to protest in the run-up to the possible teacher strikes within two weeks of the six months.
The outrage had also spread to other policies claimed to be “ discriminatory, ” including changes to the history curriculum to make it more chronological, which protesters said focused on white kings and queens over BAME figures.
Hundreds of students protested outside school gates in March, claiming that the school’s policies were racist and that minority students, who make up three quarters of the school, were being discriminated against.
Despite giving in to some of the complaints – including about uniforms and the removal of a Union flag from the school building – the academy staff issued a vote of no confidence in Mr Smith.
It comes after the school’s principal, Daniel Smith (pictured), quit his job less than a year after being accused of racism and discrimination
Today, half a dozen concerned parents gathered outside the school to protest in the run-up to the possible teacher strikes within two weeks of half school time.
Signs read ‘Good riddance Mr Smith’, ‘Our school our voice’ and ‘Ran by racists for profit’.
Martin Donohue, of the National Education Union, said: “The teachers are still negotiating. Unless a major change takes place today, the teachers will go on strike after halftime.
“It will be one day for the first week, two days for the second week, and so on.
‘They’re looking for excuses. This whole year has been complete chaos. They are also looking for an independent investigation into the assurance aspect.
‘The director is gone, but they don’t feel that much will change. It’s a bigger problem than that. There are also workload problems that affect the children.
Angry parents say they want Lord and Lady Nash of the Future Academies Trust, which runs the Pimlico Academy, to be held responsible for some of the problems amid fears that the same problems will continue.
Parents and students staged a protest outside the gates of the school in March claiming that the school’s policies were racist and that minority students, who make up three-quarters of the school, were being discriminated against.
In a statement, the Parent Pimlico group said, “ We want the right involvement from the school and we want to choose two-parent administrators to ensure our voices are heard by the principal.
“As parents, we still want to answer the question of why school has caused so much trauma to us and our children.”
A mother, who mentioned her name only as Shaima, 38, who has a 13-year-old daughter in school, said: ‘The school has not recognized or involved the Pimlico parent group.
‘We want school involvement and we want to work with the school to create an inclusive environment.
“Furthermore, we want Lord and Lady Nash to be held accountable for our children having been through such a difficult time under a pandemic.”