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Staff at Leopold Primary School vote to strike amid ‘bullying and harassment’ allegations against head

PUBLISHED: 17:38 07 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:44 15 March 2018

Leopold Primary School

Leopold Primary School

Archant

Strike action is being planned at a primary school in Harlesden amid allegations of “bullying and harrassment” by the headteacher.

Teachers and support staff at St Leopold’s Primary School who belong to the National Education Union (NEU) have voted unanimously to hold a three-day strike on March 20 to 22 if Audrey Kendall is not suspended.

The union, formally the National Union of Teachers, said in a statement 13 staff had submitted formal grievances against the headteacher in October.

An independent investigator was appointed by the then chair of governors to look into the allegations.

According to the NEU, the investigator’s report was submitted to council officers and the school’s governing body in December.

Since then it’s claimed that the staff who made the complaints have been subject to disciplinary allegations.

The school, which has two sites in Hawkshead Road and Brentfield Road, has 801 pupils, according to its website.

Phil Pardoe, NEU regional officer, said in a statement: “National Education Union members at Leopold Primary School in Brent have voted by a clear margin to take strike action over bullying and harassment by the headteacher.”

Of the independent investigator’s report, he added: “The complainants have still not been informed of the outcome of the investigation, in clear breach of the grievance procedure.

“Meanwhile several of those members have been subject to disciplinary allegations, at the instigation of the headteacher.”

He said the union is demanding Mrs Kendall be suspended on full pay and have no involvement in any disciplinary procedures until the issues arising from the grievances have been resolved.

He added: “The allegations are very serious. It is completely unacceptable for the governors and Brent to sit on the report, and refuse to take any action to protect our members.

“We still hope to find a negotiated solution, but our members have reluctantly decided that they have no option but to take strike action in the face of the unacceptable behaviour of the head and the seeming indifference of the governors and Brent.”

Mrs Kendall said: “We are not going to make a comment.”

Brent Council has been contacted.

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