PARENTS at a junior school where teachers are striking have said they support the headteacher.

Mums say Hasan Chawdhry, headteacher of Holt Farm Junior School, in Ashingdon Road, Rochford, is driving up standards at the school.

Teachers walked out at 2.15pm yesterday in a row over what the NUT labelled the head’s “oppressive management style” and some parents wrote a letter expressing their concerns about the class sizes and turnover of staff.

Holt Farm Infant School has a separate headteacher and governing body and is not involved in the current dispute.

Anna Sims, 37, from Rochford, has two children at the school, Toby, who has just moved into the junior school, and Bella in Year 5.

She said: “A lot of parents are in support of this really forward thinking, fantastic headmaster who in such a short time has improved the school from what it was. People are always going to have opposition to change.

“I support him and support what he is doing. Initially the class sizes concerned me but they go off into smaller groups anyway. They are not actually losing out - my daughter is thriving.”

Another mum, Vicki Wilson, 30, has an eight-year-old son, Riley, who goes to the school.

She said: “The new headmaster was given a school that needed a lot of work to pull it back to being a good school.

“My little boy is so happy there. Mr Chawdhry starting doing achievement certificates and he got one. Now they have a school library, they ddiidn’t have one before, the books used to be in the corridor.

A further walk out is planned on Tuesday, December 18 and five more dates in January.
The NUT says 16 grievances have been taken out against the head and the union was left with “no alternative” to strike action.

However another mum, Joanne O’Flynn, said her children Lily, seven, and Vinny, five, go to the school and she was happy with the changes Mr Chawdhry had brought in.

She added: “I think all the trips they go on now is brilliant. The after school clubs and lunchtime clubs are phenomenal.”