TEACHERS and staff at a Southampton school are on strike.

Staff at Valentine Primary School are protesting at Southampton Civic Centre today over the threat of redundancies and increased workload at the school.

Members of the National Education Union voted for strike action for one day, with two days the following week and three the week after that.

In a ballot of its members, 100 per cent voted for the action on a turnout of 75 per cent.

More than 30 staff member and parents are also to protest outside the Civic Hall, Southampton, from 9am.

The protest will come over claims that the council has threatened redundancies at the school.

Valentine Primary School was formed as a merge of two predecessor schools four years ago at the direction of Southampton City Council.

The school has continued to grow, but has not been funded proportionately for that growth, the union claims.

The Minimum Funding Guarantee caps the growth of Valentine’s budget at 5 per cent, which has led to the loss of £648,000 from its budget.

James Ellis, Regional Officer said: “Industrial action is always a last resort, and there is still enough time for the council to avert this action by restoring the funds the school has lost as a result of their poor decisions.”

“The meeting with Cllr Hammond and Hilary Brooks on 12th February was positive, and we have organised a follow up meeting with Cllr Paffey, the cabinet member for education.

“We are asking for the council to speed up this process, to restore funds lost to Valentine Primary School’s budget, to avoid a catastrophic loss of support to vulnerable children in that school. It is entirely in their hands to do this and to avoid the strike action we have planned.”

When asked for comment, Southampton City Council said it had nothing further to add to the statement it released the other day.

This read: "We have been informed that some of the teachers and support staff of Valentine Primary School intend to take industrial action on Thursday March 14 over redundancy, staff changes and anticipated increased workload.

"The school governors have since confirmed there are in fact no planned teaching staff redundancies, and the NEU is aware of this.

"Any possibility of increased workload as a consequence to staffing changes made by the Head Teacher and Governors is a matter delegated by law to the school under the school staffing Regulations.

"The council has no control over it by law and cannot intervene as to whether or not the school staff strike.”