TEACHERS threatened to halt their lessons in protest against a mock Ofsted inspection at their school.

Staff at Mayflower High School, in Billericay, turned to the National Union of Teachers to revolt against the "unnecessary” review instigated by headteacher Lee Brumby.

The mock inspection, carried out by two independent advisors on Friday, was designed to prepare the school for future Ofsted visits.

Mr Brumby insists the review, which involved teachers, pupils and governors being interviewed by the advisors, had the backing of the majority of staff.

A Mayflower High School teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Echo: “Teachers sought advice from the Essex NUT who advised that the review was not appropriate and teachers must refuse to participate.

“The headteacher was told formally by the NUT representative that teachers had voted to boycott the review, but he ignored these requests and continued.

“Teachers stood strong in the boycott, and on Friday teachers were given a pre-written letter to hand to the privately hired inspectors, which explained the teacher would refuse to teach until the inspector had left the classroom.”

The teacher branded the review, which was in addition to standard monitoring procedures, as “unnecessary."

It had been due to continue yesterday , but teachers were told via email on Friday evening that the independent advisors would not return for a second day.

Mr Brumby said the review indicated that the school is on track to becoming outstanding in all areas at its next Ofsted report.

He said: “It was a mock inspection and a whole school review that is really viewed as an essential part of school improvement and training.

“It was extremely successful and involved two advisors coming into school to speak to teachers, support staff and governors."

He said that NUT members are in the minority among teaching staff employed by the school.

Mr Brumby added: “It was action short of striking. We are fully compliant with all issues relating to unions.

“I am very sympathetic to staff workloads, but part of that is making sure we are fully prepared for the real Ofsted inspection.

“It is an extremely stressful process and I have to make sure all parties are ready. I feel the school is in an extremely strong position.”

Jerry Glazier, NUT general secretary in Essex, said: “NUT policy is to support members in not being subjected to excessive monitoring and evaluation.

“We oppose what we call ‘Mocksted’ evaluations and we will always give appropriate support to members if they wish.”