STAFF walked out of a junior school in a row over the way it is run.

Teachers from Holt Farm Junior School staged a picket line outside the building in Ashingdon Road, Rochford, after declaring a strike over what the NUT labelled the “oppressive” management style of head Hasan Chawdhry.

The union has demanded he be suspended while an inquiry takes place.

The infant school, which has its own headteacher and governing body, is not involved in the dispute.

Jerry Glazier, general secretary of Essex NUT, said: “The governors have not shown the capability or capacity to deal effectively with a dispute like this.

“We did have a small but buoyant picket line and we received a lot of support from motorists driving past. I think many more parents now understand the issues related to the management in school and the role the governing body have played which has caused the action to take place.”

In an exclusive interview with the Echo, Mr Chawdhry accepted he has made some unpopular, but necessary, changes which he says will allow the pupils to reach their potential.

Chair of governors, David Jenkinson, said 20 volunteer parents helped serve the children’s Christmas lunch.

He said: “We dealt extremely effectively with the dispute with the complaints given to us by some of the teaching staff. We carried out an extensive investigation into their allegations in full accordance with the school’s grievance policy.

“When that was concluded, our findings were relayed to the staff concerned and measures were put in place to redress the situation.

“The school lunch went ahead but I think it is extremely sad the teachers chose this day to strike and chose to have picket lines at the school where the children have to walk past them.”