‘Working here is hell’: One teacher’s account of life at strike-hit Rainhill High school

Kenny Dalglish, the then Liverpool manager, with headteacher John Pout at opening the Liverpool Football Club Academy's new education centre in 2011
Kenny Dalglish, the then Liverpool manager, with headteacher John Pout at opening the Liverpool Football Club Academy's new education centre in 2011

A Rainhill High teacher has told the St Helens Reporter working at the strike-hit school is “hell” with low morale having an “ “immeasurable affect” on pupils.

The teacher, who wants to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions, said the daily challenges of working at the Warrington Road school were making many sick.

Teachers from the NASUWT will go on strike at Rainhill High

Teachers from the NASUWT will go on strike at Rainhill High

The NASUWT teaching union will launch two days of action this week on Tuesday and Thursday over “management intimidation”.

The teacher, who still works at the school, told the Reporter: “Working at Rainhill is hell. The management is oppressive, everything is micro managed. There are trackers on everything, including ‘secret’ ones on staff performance.

“It’s impossible to succeed as pupil targets have been set unattainably high so that both teachers and pupils feel like constant failures.

“Morale is so low. The behaviour is terrible, parents would be horrified to see what their children witness on a daily basis and how it disrupts learning.”

Rainhill High has one of the best GCSE exam pass rates in the borough, with 65 per cent of pupils achieving A* GCSEs in 2014. At its most recent Ofsted report in 2014, it was rated good.

However, the teacher says staff turnover is a significant problem at the school.

The teacher went on: “Those of us that are not new, not that there are many with the staff turnover as it is, have seen our colleagues disappeared.

“The affect on pupils is immeasurable, the lack of staff continuity means that pupils can’t form relationships with staff, this has a negative affect on both behaviour and learning.

“Some pupils in one subject area have had upwards of five in teachers so far this year.

“Parents know about the staff turnover and they must be told by their children about staff crying and disappearing.

“Parents must know of the bullying of staff and they must now support teachers to make the school better and safer for their children.

“The only reason this is has not been made public until now is fear. We are just teachers, we were the good kids in school, we weren’t the fighters and now many have mortgages to pay.”

A Rainhill High spokesman said NASUWT members represented a small minority of teachers and the school would remain open as normal during strike days.

The spokesman added: “Despite any strike action, Rainhill High School will remain open for all students.

“The NASUWT have threatened 14 days of strike action between 28 March and the end of May 2017.

“This is under their national dispute with the Government. The school will remain open as the NASUWT only represents a minority of the teachers at Rainhill High School.

“The school is keen to resolve this and has referred this matter to ACAS, and the Trustees are happy to meet with NASUWT and ACAS to resolve these issues.”