LAST-DITCH talks aimed at averting a strike at a primary school tomorrow (May 23) have failed.

At least 25 teachers at Selwyn School in Cavendish Road, Highams Park, will stage the one-day walk-out in protest at the school's management.

A public meeting last week heard allegations from staff of bullying and harassment by temporary headteacher Maureen Okoye.

The National Union of Teachers held talks with Waltham Forest Council on Friday (May 20) in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

Branch secretary Rinaldo Frezzato said the authority offered to launch an independent investigation into the bullying claims, but he said this was "too little too late".

He added: "If the council had investigated in March when we first raised these concerns they would probably have averted this strike.

"We told them of these issues but they didn't believe us."

In a statement last week, Cllr Saima Mahmud, the council's cabinet member for children and young people, said she "utterly refuted" the claims made by teachers.

Staff voted unanimously to take industrial action earlier this month.

The NUT says it will be only the second time in the history of Waltham Forest that staff at a primary school have gone on strike.

The Guardian understands that the school will be closed to pupils tomorrow.

The Guardian is awaiting a comment from Waltham Forest Council.

More to follow.

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