NUT union blasts ‘strike-breakers’ at Welwyn Garden City school

STRIKE-BREAKERS are set to be used to keep one Welwyn Garden City school open tomorrow (Thursday).

Teaching assistants (TAs) will be covering classes at Watchlytes, in Panshanger, in a bid to minimise disruption, provoking a furious response from teaching union the NUT.

A school source told the WHT: “It completely defeats the purpose of the strike and undermines the position of any teachers.

“Watchlytes will remain open as usual whereas other schools will only have classes come in where their teacher is from a different union or not striking or will completely close.

“The TAs who have accepted to teach at Watchlytes will make the NUT furious and I am pretty sure they will be in a very small minority.

“They are not entitled to cover the class and are quite in their own rights to say ‘no’.”

Christine Hood, former secretary of Hertfordshire NUT, said: “TAs are not employed to cover lessons, they’re there to assist teachers.

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“There is an issue if a headteacher is using TAs to strike-break.”

She added: “To use them [teaching assistants] to cover a full day of teaching is screwing them.

“TAs are very badly paid as it is – it’s cover on the cheap.”

The school’s headteacher, Andrew Farrugia, was unavailable for comment.

A worker at the school confirmed it would remain open but refused to comment on whether TAs would be taking over.