08/04/2011 12:18 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Teachers Walk Out In Protest At 'Bullying' Headteacher

Teachers strike More than 70 teachers have staged a walk-out at a school in Lancashire in a one-day protest over their 'bullying' headteacher.

Staff at Darwen Vale High School claim the headmistress, Hilary Torpey, 'undermined' teachers by being 'soft' on unruly pupils, but shouting at staff - on occasion reducing some to tears.

Union chiefs backed up the allegations, agreeing that some kids had pushed, shoved and verbally abused teachers, whilst management took a softly-softly approach to their behaviour, returning confiscated mobile phones and 'undermining' teachers attempts to regain order in classrooms.

A spokesman for the National Union of Teachers said: 'Our members have alleged Mrs Torpey is a bully. Until management put in place behaviour policy that's applied consistently, we won't be coming to settlement.'

The local council said the teacher's strike action was 'disappointing'
Harry Devonport, director of education at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council told reporters:

'The council is working hard to bring the school leadership together with unions to clarify what needs to be done.'

Mrs Torpey was said to be 'aware' of the bullying allegations but was not prepared to comment.

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Were the staff right to walk out?

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