Strike action over plans to remove teachers from their pension scheme and an ongoing fire and rehire row is soon set to continue.

Six days of strike action have already taken place at Southend's Alleyn Court Preparatory School throughout July, with teachers taking a stand against plans to remove their access to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

Labour MP Barry Gardiner even joined in the picket line protests at the school earlier this month, standing in solidarity with the striking teachers. 

It's also claimed the trust which runs the school - the Alleyn Court Educational Trust - is also threatening staff with the practice of “fire and rehire".

Members of the the National Education Union (NEU) have now voted to their continue their fight, with staff who are part of the union having already taken part in the industrial action.

Bosses at the NEU say the dispute is set to escalate as further action is now likely, if the trust continue with their "no compromise stance".

Paul McLaughlin, regional secretary, said: “It is deeply regrettable that there have been no meaningful talks to resolve this dispute.

"Members are prepared to compromise and the union has put forward a reasonable solution which would significantly reduce the employer increased costs.

"They have an income of over £3 million and our estimate is that it would take less than £20,000 (0.6 per cent) to resolve the ongoing dispute.

"The last thing that children need, at the start of the new academic year, is further action with the inevitable disruption to their education.

"During the recent industrial action, the school brought in retirees and unqualified teachers to cover lessons, this cannot be a substitute for experienced and qualified teachers.

"What is particularly disappointing is the lack of engagement by the trust in seeking to resolve the dispute, they have not even bothered to reply to our last communication."

Read more:

Southend teachers to strike for six days over pension row

When previously contacted by the Echo at the beginning of July, the chair of trustees for the Alleyn Court Educational Trust assured a variety of options had been explored when it came to any proposed pension changes.

They explained: "Like many other Independent Schools faced with this dilemma, not of our own making, we have entered into a period of consultation with staff over withdrawal of the Teachers Pensions Scheme. 

"This is something that all private schools are having to consider each making a decision as to what is in the best interest of their particular school, after full consideration of their individual situations.

"It is with deep regret we find ourselves in this position as staff are highly valued."

Mr McLaughlin, continued: "Many of the children are due to sit their 11 plus on September 18, with this in mind members have decided not to take further action prior to the week of September 20.

"There is an opportunity between now and September 20 for the trust to come to the table and negotiate a fair settlement to this dispute.

"Members are being threatened with fire and rehire and have been told to expect this over the summer break. This is not an acceptable way to treat valued and experienced staff.

"The reputation of the school as an employer of choice would inevitably be damaged if this impasse continues.”