Education news

St Patrick's PS stays open during strike 'thanks to goodwill of staff'

Members of the NASUWT striking at St Patrick's PS in north Belfast
Mairead Holland

THE goodwill of teachers and other staff has enabled a primary school in north Belfast to remain open during a strike this week, its principal has said.

Margaret Neeson said five teachers out of 27 had taken part in the three-day action at St Patrick's PS, with remaining staff stepping in to cover absences.

"The education and well-being of our pupils is our priority. The school will remain open as we are focused on that," she said.

The action by NASUWT members began on Tuesday, with staff claiming concerns about working conditions have not been addressed.

It follows a walk-out for six days in November last year.

Mrs Neeson said a meeting was being held yesterday in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

It was due to be attended by members of the board of governors, representatives from the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS), school management and members of trustee body the Edmund Rice Schools Trust.

The 550-pupil school was created in 2013 by the amalgamation of Edmund Rice boys' and Star of the Sea girls' schools.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said it was regrettable sufficient progress had not been made to avoid this week's strike action.

The CCMS said it was committed to working with all parties involved and a resolution "requires a commitment to continued dialogue".

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