THE mass resignation of 12 teachers from a primary school is a "warning signal" for parents, a union claims.

The exodus of staff from Selwyn Primary School in Highams Park at the end of July comes after four other workers, including senior staff, left during the school year.

And union representative Rinaldo Frezzato believes the news is a worrying sign just a year after teachers voted to strike over claims they were being unfairly treated by interim headteacher Maureen Okoye.

Ms Okoye remains at the school and insists the school is facing a positive future after some teachers rejected her measures fir improving results.

But Mr Frezzato remains concerned.

He said: "There appears to me to be a huge turnover of staff and I would say parents should see it as a warning signal of problems there.

"It’s a matter of great disappointment to me, we are definitely concerned at what’s going on and the effect it could be having on education standards."

The high number of resignations leaves the school relying on supply teachers.

Mr Frezzato added: "It’s always a worry when a lot of agency staff are used. They’re there to fill in gaps on odd days, not to staff a school. If I was a parent I’d be worried for my child’s standard of education."

The Guardian spoke with several parents at the school who said they were concerned about the resignations and their children's education, although they declined to go on the record.

But parent Paula Caiger, 44, of the Friends of Selwyn School group, said she was not worried.

"It's part of the cycle," she said, "I'm confident that other staff will come in and there will be fresh blood. There's a lot of positive things the school is doing, like our recent fete and upcoming sports day, which show it's really engaging with the community."

Ms Okoye said: "There will be frictions and when you introduce new ideas there will be a bit of resistance.

"We are all singing from the same hymn sheet now." Councillor Clare Coghill, cabinet member for children, said: "Providing our children and young people with an education that gives them the best possible chance in life is paramount.

"While decisions relating to staffing lie with the school and their governing body, I understand that recruitment is currently underway to fill the posts that are being vacated."

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