Now in their 13th week of industrial dispute over adverse management, governance and redundancy through believed financial mismanagement, members of NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union at Llangors Church in Wales Primary School are due to take their 11th day of strike action on Thursday, June 6.   

Powys County Council have continued to not negotiate with NASUWT and the reduction of the teaching workforce is still proceeding, despite the ending of a dismissal process by compulsory redundancy of a member of staff. 

The NASUWT believes the loss of teaching posts and the amalgamation of classes will have a negative impact on pupils’ education. Six classes will be merged into five groups with higher pupil numbers. 

The Union has repeatedly urged the Local Authority Education Directorate to negotiate meaningfully with union representatives - to no avail - and NASUWT's communication with Powys elected representatives, all 67 councillors, has been met with a wall of silence.   

Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said: "It is wholly unacceptable that the concerns submitted months ago to the LA by the teachers and the NASUWT still remain unexplored and unresolved.

“In the absence of any negotiation whatsoever teachers are forced yet again to take further strike action to safeguard the future of the school they love." 

Neil Butler, NASUWT Cymru National Official said: "Further strike action is still is not inevitable. If meaningful negotiations can take place, we can call off subsequent proposed dates for industrial action depending on progress.” 

Helen Johns, NASUWT National Executive Member said: "To be clear, communication, reasonable compromise and meaningful engagement are the keys to resolving any dispute, including this one.

“A proper face-to-face meeting between the LA and NASUWT, to negotiate together around the table, should be a norm from the outset, not the impossibility it has proven so far to be. 

“Children should not be paying the price of any Council's refusal to engage constructively, which sadly is the case in Powys Local Authority."

In response to comments made by NASUWT, a spokesperson for Powys County Council said: “The council take the concerns raised in the NASUWT Dispute Resolution Requests services and, as such, are supporting the Governing Body to commission an independent investigation. This information has been clearly communicated to the NASUWT, representatives from the Swansea and Brecon Diocese, school staff and the wider school community.


“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.


“Due to this, the management of change process is based on the school moving from a six-class structure to a five-class structure.


“It is not the case that the council is refusing to engage with the NASUWT. However, our discussions with the NASUWT have reached a point where we cannot agree a way forward.


“At this point, the council supports the management of change process and the investigation running alongside each other.


“Ceasing the management of change process will not address the fact that the school is overstaffed and regardless of any investigation this is a necessary step. However, the NASUWT do not recognise this position. Of course, the council has made it clear to the NASUWT that we are committed to working with the Governing Body to review this position if the investigation raises concerns around the Management of Change process.


“Council officers are working closely with the school and the Governing Body to minimise disruption caused by the strike and maintain an open dialogue.”