Following the recent industrial action and the recent articles you may have seen in the Coventry Telegraph here, the school would like to offer this response:


Statement from Shaukat Hussain, Headteacher at John Gulson Primary School

4 June 2013


Dear Parents/Carers,

“We are doing everything we can to ensure the disruption caused by the strike action is kept to a minimum as our primary focus remains the education of our pupils.

“This can be seen during the strike action called before half term, 13 out of 22 classes carried on as normal and a further four classes suffered some disruption. Unfortunately should the action take place on 4th and 5th June, a school trip will have to be cancelled and the children will miss out on a valuable learning opportunity.

“Although the school regrets this interruption to the children’s learning, the Performance Management policy – the issue of this strike action – does not create excessive lesson observation and is not punitive. This is the Local Authority policy which has been adopted by the majority of Coventry schools.

“This year there have been 44 performance management lesson observations of the 25 teachers at the school. Most staff have only been observed on two occasions but a few staff whose lessons did not meet the required standard have been observed three times. No teachers have been subject to weekly lesson observations.

“These observations, along with support packages delivered by an outstanding school and coupled with coaching and mentoring within school, have meant that the quality of teaching is improving rapidly as noted by Ofsted.

“In our recent Ofsted report, the leadership and management were judged as being ‘good’ with ‘steadfast and visionary’ leadership. However, the quality of teaching was judged to be ‘requires improvement’ and this is a key action to be addressed.  Ofsted report can be accessed via our school website here.

“This year the school has invested heavily in this area in order to benefit the children’s learning. One of the assistant head teachers has been taken out of the classroom to coach and mentor teachers where lessons had been judged ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’

“No disciplinary action has been taken against any member of staff and no one has cited the performance management policy or lesson observations as the reason for leaving the school.

“The school regrets the disruption caused by the actions of a few teachers but is working hard to ensure that the majority of pupils receive the quality of education they deserve.”

We thank you for your support and understanding.


Statement from Councillor David Kershaw, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Education:

“As a city council we respect the right of professional associations, having gone through due process, to have the right to strike.

“However, we are deeply troubled that a decision has been taken to go on strike when it could potentially have a significant impact on the children and parents at John Gulson Primary School.

“As a city we are committed to raising standards of achievement and standards of overall performance of all our schools and we have enjoyed considerable success.

“We realise that there is more to do which is the reason why we cannot begin to accept that young people are going to miss three days of their education because of a strike and why we fully support the school as it tries to mitigate the effect of this continued strike action.”