Police investigate the school assault that lead to a strike threat by teachers

FULL STEAM AHEAD Detail from Chris Burke's timeline for the station mural

The ‘serious assault’ on a member of staff by a pupil at Saint Greggory’s Catholic School, that lead to the threat of strike action by some teachers, is being investigated by police.

As reported exclusively in the Times last week, 24 members of staff at the Reynolds Lane School had threatened to take industrial action following what they perceived to have been the school’s poor handling of the incident which took place on December 16.

Representatives of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), which represent the staff, had also threatened to refuse to teach the pupil concerned and were pushing for their expulsion.

But on Thursday (January 19) a spokesman for the school said it was now ‘very unlikely’ the union will take action after an agreement had been reached.

The statement said: “An incident was reported on 16 December which has been investigated and the school’s behaviour policy and exclusion procedures have been followed.

“The school is very clear about its responsibilities for the safety and wellbeing of all students and staff and we have been working closely with the teachers’ unions to ensure that our staff are assured that we meet those responsibilities.

“Agreement has been reached with the union on the measures the school has been taking and it is very unlikely that any further union action will take place.”

A spokesman for the NUT confirmed constructive that talks with the school have taken place, and said the union ‘hoped’ strike action would not prove necessary.

They added: “Following an assault, by a student, on an NUT member, NUT members at St Gregory’s Catholic School, Tunbridge Wells believed that the response by the School and the Academy Trust was insufficient to secure the safety of staff and students.

“Members called on the NUT for support and were willing to be balloted for industrial action if the matter could not be resolved through negotiation.

“In discussions on January 18 the School and the Trust were keen to reassure the NUT and its members that they were taking the matter extremely seriously, further measures to be taken by the School were discussed, and next steps are being shared with staff at the school.

“The discussions were positive and will continue. It is hoped that the need for any industrial action can be avoided.”

Kent Police have confirmed to the Times that they are investigating the incident.

A spokesman said: “Kent Police is investigating a reported assault alleged to have taken place at a school in Tunbridge Wells on December 16, 2016. Enquires are ongoing.”

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