Teachers strike over pupils ‘carrying knives and brawling’

Jun 27, 2019 by

Staff given panic buttons at outstanding-rated Starbank school in Birmingham

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Teachers have gone on strike at a school in Birmingham rated outstanding by Ofsted where they say “feral” students are carrying knives, threatening staff and brawling in classrooms.

Staff at Starbank school, whose pupils’ ages range from three to 16, have been given panic buttons and are “scared to come out of their classrooms” between lessons, according to a teaching union.

The NASUWT, whose members began a two-day strike at the school on Thursday, said it took urgent action when teachers became afraid for their safety following a number of verbal or physical assaults on staff.

Paul Nesbitt, a NASUWT national executive member, said police were called to the school this month when pupils smuggled in three knives, including a 12-inch blade.

He said Starbank could be described as “a flagship school” for Birmingham “but it’s what’s going on inside that’s the problem”.

He said: “When you go to the school, it looks fantastic but once you get in there it’s a different story. It’s like feral children, as one member said, they’re just running round doing their own thing.”

The school in South Yardley, west Birmingham, has been rated outstanding by Ofsted since 2012 and was praised last year for its “exceptional ethos, care and quality of education”.

However, teachers have raised concerns that the school had expanded too rapidly from a primary school to an “all-through” establishment in 2016, when the number of pupils more than doubled to 2,072.

An Ofsted report in 2018 said many of its students had missed “a substantial amount” of schooling before arriving at Starbank but praised the school for growing in size “inspirationally”.

Source: Teachers strike over pupils ‘carrying knives and brawling’ | UK news | The Guardian

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