Teaching assistants at Shooters Hill Sixth Form College have voted to go on strike “for up to a week” to protest disciplinary observation at the school.

The school brought in a new training programme with observation that the school said would help improve the quality of teaching at the school.

However teaching assistants are not happy with the system at all as they feel it is used for disciplinary reasons and a “surveillance and sack culture”.

Unite Regional Officer Onay Kasab said: “This is little more than an extra method for the employer to discipline people.

“The imposition of a surveillance and sack culture is an insult to hard working staff. Rather than reward staff for their hard work, this employer seeks to hand out punishments.

“Our members do a vital job which at times can be extremely challenging. What they require is support – not threats”

Jan Atkinson, principal at Shooters Hill College, said she believed Unite did not have the necessary numbers of support industrial action, something Mr Kasab disputed and said they would be deciding on how long to strike at a meeting tomorrow (June 2).

Jan Atkinson, principal at Shooters Hill Sixth Form College, said: “We are highly committed to the training and development of our learning support assistants, who provide an invaluable service to some of our most vulnerable students in our very inclusive college.

“The overwhelming majority of staff are embracing the training and development that we are providing as part of our new teaching and learning improvement strategy, which is already having a positive impact on student progress.