Union makes claims of unfair suspension

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A union has made claims that a Midland school nursery has suspended one of its employees after a successful campaign to stop cuts to its opening hours.

The Britain’s General Union (GMB) launched a petition after discovering that Rowley Owls Nursery was consulting on a proposal to open for less hours, only taking in children over the age of 2.

The proposals were put forward after 2 inspections by Ofsted in the past 9 months criticised the nursery.

Rated as “inadequate” in February, they were bumped up to “requires improvement” in August.

The setting has contested that the proposals have been made in order to improve their standards, but the governing body pulled the plug on these plans after parents rallied, pulling together a petition with 350 signatures.

The GMB has now claimed, however, that one of its members, who is employed at the setting, has been suspended in the wake of the successful campaign to thwart plans.

A spokesman for the union has said that the staff member in question was deliberately “targeted and victimised” by the school.

Gillian Whittaker, GMB Organiser, said: “We consider that this member has been targeted and victimised due to the successful campaign run by GMB earlier this month.

“We consider that this is grossly unfair and are requesting that this member is re-instated as soon as possible. We will do everything in our power for this member to get this suspension lifted.

“We are hoping that the school see sense and re-instate the staff member without delay.”

Kevin Morris, chairman of governors at Rowley Hall Primary, where the setting is based, has said:

“Suspension is a neutral act and does not imply any wrongdoing.

“While investigations continue we are unable to comment any further.”

Headteacher of the school, Nicola Stanley, has said of the thwarted plans: “The proposal was put forward by governors in a bid to improve standards in the nursery following feedback from Ofsted.

“We have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback we have received from parents with children in the nursery.

“It seems parents and children really love what we are doing and want to keep the nursery as it is.

“Ofsted have recognised we are improving but we still have some way to go to make improvements to the nursery.

“Now this decision has been made, the nursery can get on with implementing changes to improve standards.”

 

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