Leopold Primary School: First day of strike action called off

Leopold Primary School

Leopold Primary School - Credit: Archant

Strike action tomorrow at a troubled Harlesden primary school has been cancelled, the teachers’ union has confirmed.

Leopald Primary School protest (Picture: Jonathan Goldberg)

Leopald Primary School protest (Picture: Jonathan Goldberg) - Credit: Jonathan Goldberg

Staff were due to down tools at Leopold Primary School until Thursday after a balloted vote by National Education Union (NEU) members.

It came after the outgoing head Audrey Kendall was accused of “bullying and harassment” of her workers – an allegation she declined to comment on.

But day one of the strike has been called off.

Phil Pardoe, regional officer at the NEU, said: “We are currently in negotiation with the London Borough of Brent, which we hope to have concluded satifactorily this afternoon.

Leopald Primary School protest (Picture: Jonathan Goldberg)

Leopald Primary School protest (Picture: Jonathan Goldberg) - Credit: Jonathan Goldberg


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“In the meantime we have suspended action for tomorrow.

“If we cannot reach a satisfatory agreement today then we will take strike action on Wednesday and Thursday.”

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

As previously reported in the Times, the union – formally the National Union of Teachers – said in a statement 13 staff had submitted formal grievances against the head Audrey Kendall 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.

According to the NEU, the investigator’s report was submitted to council officers and the school’s governing body in December which has still not been released.

The NEU said: “Several of [the staff who have submitted grievances] have been subject to disciplinary allegations, at the instigation of the headteacher.”

Ms Kendall announced her retirement, set for March 29, days later.

Brent Council has ignored repeated requests for comment in the wake of the union’s statement and the parents’ meeting, to which it did not send a representative.

Police were called to a parents’ protest at the school’s Hawkshead Road site on Wednesday last week.

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