Strike threatened after teacher is fired for wearing trainers
Teachers are threatening to go on strike at a London secondary school after a colleague was sacked for wearing trainers and tracksuit trousers to work.
Adrian Swain, 56, was fired a week before Christmas from St Paul’s Way, a comprehensive in Tower Hamlets, East London.
The special needs teacher had refused to stop wearing trainers and tracksuit bottoms, which failed the school’s new dress code.
Swain said other staff regularly came to work in “banned items” and that he was being singled out because he stood up for teachers’ rights as the school’s trade union representative.
The acting headteacher who imposed the dress code has since left the school.
Swain said he had worn tracksuit bottoms and trainers throughout his 30-year teaching career and had never before received complaints.
He said his colleagues were pressing for a ballot on industrial action.
He said: “It is clear that this is not about what I wear or what kind of teacher I am. This is victimisation, because I have consistently worked to protect union members against bullying and intimidation.