Strike at Castle Vale Performing Arts College – a statement by Cllr Ann Holtom

School strike

Cllr Ann Holtom, who has been a local councillor for the Castle Vale area for ten years, has issued the following statement concerning the strike by NASUWT staff at Castle Vale Performing Arts College:-

"As someone who has been local to Castle Vale all my life and who has represented the area on Birmingham City Council for ten years, I am acutely aware that Castle Vale Performing Arts College is experiencing educational and student behaviour difficulties at present and that staff are facing very challenging times. Historically the school has been one with a good reputation. Over the years many parents have complained to me that they have been unable to get their children into the school. Now, unfortunately, action is needed to bring the school back to its best."

"The first priority for everyone involved in the school, staff, governors, local authority and parents is to create a safe, supportive learning environment in which the students can perform to their best. All anybody wants is the very best education for all the children of Castle Vale. Nothing is more important than the future of the young people who attend this school."

"I am disappointed that the NASUWT members at the school have decided to strike. Whatever frustrations or challenges they face, I cannot see how closing down the school on 7 March - with the threat of more strikes to come - can help improve things for the students."

"The senior management of the school, including the governing body, must now show real leadership at this difficult time. The union have said they are willing to call off the future strikes if there is an approach from the school and the prospect of talks to resolve the outstanding issues. I strongly urge the head teacher and the governing body to improve their communications with the staff and put aside all considerations except the future education of the students.