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Strikes halted at school as deal reached over ‘unacceptable’ pupil behaviour

Staff at Oasis Academy, on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, had been on strike for three days demanding a zero-tolerance approach to bad behaviour after months of concerns about safety (PA)
Staff at Oasis Academy, on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, had been on strike for three days demanding a zero-tolerance approach to bad behaviour after months of concerns about safety (PA)

A deal has been struck between school staff and an academy where teachers have been striking over pupils’ threats and violence.

Staff at Oasis Academy, on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, had been on strike for three days demanding a zero-tolerance approach to bad behaviour after months of concerns about safety.

Further days of action have been halted because an agreement has been reached to tackle unacceptable pupil behaviour including physical and verbal assaults.

The National Education Union (NEU) said its members have voted to accept the offer, which includes £500,000 for additional behaviour specialist staff, a minimum of five days’ exclusion for assaults and threats against staff and a behaviour and safety working group between the union and academy trust.

NEU regional secretary Maria Fawcett said: “I am pleased that progress has been made in negotiations and that this has given members some confidence that things will start to improve at their school.

“The employer has made several promises and members have now put their trust in Oasis to deliver a safe and acceptable working and learning environment.

“Members rightly expect rapid improvements to be made and they have made clear that further action will result if promised improvements in behaviour and safety do not take place”.

Headteacher Andy Booth said: “At Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, we are committed to giving every young person the best possible education, every day, so I am pleased that there has been a pause in industrial action.

“We’ve had positive and productive meetings with union representatives, and I am proud of the progress we have made. We will continue to work constructively and openly to avoid future disruptions.”