Members of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union at Llangors Church in Wales Primary in Llangorse will begin strike action again on Thursday, May 2.

Further dates are planned on 9, 14, 16 May and 6 June, with more in the pipeline if the dispute is not resolved in the near future. Members have mounting concerns over adverse management practices, redundancy, and staff wellbeing.

For months, teachers at Llangors have worked under threat of redundancy. It is strongly felt that the proposed redundancy is the result of years of mismanagement by the school’s leadership and governors. Llangors is a small community primary school that cannot afford to lose any staff.

Despite NASUWT members requesting negotiations – alongside an independent investigation into the mismanagement – before the redundancy takes place, the school and Powys County Council have pressed ahead with their plans to select staff for redundancy. If this takes place, Llangors CiW Primary will not only lose valued teachers but year groups will be amalgamated, impacting adversely on standards at the school.

Powys Local Authority have refused to halt the redundancy process by using their powers of intervention.

Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, said: “It is difficult to believe that Powys County Council is taking the concerns of NASUWT members seriously when they refuse to meet for proper negotiations. 

“In order to protect the school, its staff, and its pupils, the redundancy process at Llangors should be halted immediately until the findings of an independent investigation can be thoroughly considered.”

Neil Butler, National Official for Wales, said: “Our members at Llangors remain in distress over the way they have been treated by leaders at the school and Powys County Council. The state of the budget is not the fault of the teachers and neither can the school hide behind a widespread poor budget settlement. 

“The fault lies with the leadership and governance of the school. No teacher should be paying the price for such incompetence. It’s just wrong. It is as simple as that.” 

Helen Johns, National Executive Member for the local area, said: “Over the last few months, we have attempted to engage with leaders again and again, only to hit one brick wall after another. Nobody wants to be held accountable for the mismanagement mess at Llangors.  

“Teachers at Llangors are anxious and frustrated. They deserve fair working conditions that are free of stress. Parents at Llangors are equally upset; they, like the teachers, want the best for their children and their local community. If school leaders and Powys County Council truly want the same, they must listen to these concerns, halt the redundancy process, and allow an independent investigation to be carried out.”

A spokesperson for Powys County Council said: “Governing bodies have a legal duty to set a balanced budget and failure to do so could result in the council taking appropriate action. However, the council has been proactively supporting schools across the county in their work to realign and set their budgets.

 “The council fully supports the school’s governing body in their pro-active approach in dealing with these financial pressures and their work to realign and set a balanced budget and believes that the school has acted in a correct and appropriate manner with the council’s support.

 “The school’s share of the schools delegated budget is determined by the school funding formula and is based on pupil numbers. As the school’s pupil numbers has been below 150 pupils since 2018/19, the funding provided through the formula since then would be based on a five-class structure. Additional grant funding from Welsh Government during and immediately after the pandemic has allowed the school to keep a six-class structure in place for a period of time.

 “Council officers met with the trade union on 8 March and again on 12 April regarding Llangors Church in Wales Primary School. Relevant officers will continue discussions with them on this matter as it progresses through formal processes.”