SCHOOL bosses and teachers are engaging in peace talks to achieve “stability” after previously being at loggerheads over a proposed restructure.

Union groups representing members at Tendring Technology College have agreed to suspend any strike action planned to take place over the next three weeks.

The decision follows constructive talks with the Academies Enterprise Trust which were carried out during the half-term holiday.

As a result, both sides have agreed to engage in further progressive discussions with a view of achieving a more amicable relationship and peace for students and staff.

Chelmsford Weekly News:

In a joint statement a spokeswoman said: “We are pleased to confirm an agreement has been reached between AET, National Education Union, the Teachers Union and UNISON.

“This is following the decision of the trust to pause the restructure to allow further discussions with employees and recognised trade unions.

“All parties have agreed to engage in open discussions with a view to agreeing a staffing structure that is fit for purpose to ensure the needs of every student at TTC is met.

“We want to ensure a staffing structure that brings both stability and sustainability.

“Members of AET’s executive committee will be visiting the school this week and we encourage colleagues to provide their feedback and ideas on what they think the staffing structure should look like for September 2021 and beyond.”

The verbal ceasefire comes after staff, parents and students at Tendring Technology College took part in strike action for three days.

Armed with placards and the support of both parents and students, they formed picket lines outside the school’s Thorpe-le-Soken and Frinton campuses.

The demonstrations were in protest of a proposed restructure which school staff believed would result in damning job cuts.

Chelmsford Weekly News:

Bosses at the state-funded trust acknowledged they had reduced the teacher headcount by four per cent, but said the school was “significantly overly staffed” compared to similar schools.

They also said they believed the changes would see students benefit from more teaching time and additional opportunities at the school’s sixth form.

Parents and teachers were also unhappy following claims the trust was taking £1,250 per student from the £4,500 Department for Education allocation to help run the multi-academy set-up.

Trust bosses have denied the claim, saying they only take £575 per pupil.

One teacher, who has asked to remain anonymous, welcomes the discussions but said people should not get too excited just yet.

He said: “We’re looking forward to AET coming to discuss how to move forward and we are glad to see the trust’s new CEO making an effort.

“Obviously we need to wait and see to make sure they do actually deliver on these promises and listen to the staff to allow us to move forward in a positive way.”