Northern Ireland news

Teacher surveillance claim to be investigated

Members of the NASUWT took strike action at St Patrick's PS in north Belfast

TEACHERS' concerns they may have been subjected to surveillance during strike action are to be investigated.

The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) said it was aware some staff in St Patrick's PS believed they may have been watched during a walk-out last November.

Members of the NASUWT union went on strike for six days. They took a further three days action last week due to "deep concerns" about working conditions.

The CCMS said it wished to assure all of its teachers that "no such surveillance would ever be commissioned by the CCMS or indeed by any board of governors".

"However, in this instance we recognise that these particular teachers hold a genuine concern that someone may have been conducting some level of surveillance on them," a spokesman said.

"Therefore, CCMS and the board of governors have agreed that we should develop proposals for an independent review of the circumstances that give rise to these specific concerns. We will consult all relevant parties as this review is progressed, which we hope will be conducted quickly."

NASUWT National Official for Northern Ireland Justin McCamphill said it was a serious issue.

"The impact this has had on the mental health and wellbeing of our members cannot be underestimated and the union believes that an independent investigation of this matter needs to be undertaken as a matter of urgency," he said.

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