A TRADE union has defended teachers after a primary school head said some of her staff were “sat at home doing nothing” during lockdown.

Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT, spoke out after Pauline Wood, head of the “outstanding” Grange Park Primary in Sunderland, was suspended.

She is facing disciplinary action facing claims she brought the school into disrepute for her comments on a local radio station.

Mr Roach said: “Teachers deserve praise, not criticism, for how they have risen to the challenge of supporting children’s learning throughout the national lockdown.

“Teachers are continuing to do their best for pupils and their hard work has helped to provide a semblance of normality and continuity for children and young people at what has been a highly anxious and unsettling time.”

Ms Wood, currently on gardening leave, said a minority of staff were spending more time ‘on Netflix’ than working at home.

She alleged they spoke out when they were asked to come to school three days a week.

Appearing on ITV’s This Morning, she said she was unable to speak to pupils, parents or staff at the school due to her suspension.

She said she had received a lot of support from parents, teachers and others in education.

A joint statement from Grange Park Primary School and Sunderland City Council said: “Because of ongoing disciplinary matters it would be inappropriate to comment.”