Annual General Meeting
Thursday 9th March
Laycock Street PDC
5pm - 6.30pm
England’s schools are now experiencing the largest real term cuts in funding in more than a generation.
In real terms, schools will lose huge amounts of money rising to £2.5 billion a year by 2020. 92% of schools will have their funding cut.
You can see our forecast for your school, and those in your neighbourhood, at http://www.schoolcuts.org.uk
please email your MP and sign the petition using the links on the website
Congratulations to all Islington NUT members who took part in the Strike Action.
it was another great show of strength and determination from NUT members in Islington and across London
We are still gathering information on the effects of the action but current figures in Islington show:
Islington Teachers have appeared in the local press and were on London Live TV news
Bridge school governors last night decided on a split vote to convert to an Academy despite strong opposition from staff. Teachers and Teaching Assistants had voted by 119:1 for the school to stay a community school and lobbied the meeting.
Paul Atkin from Islington NUT said "This is a sad day for Islington schools. The Bridge was built by Islington on shared sites with Hungerford and Holloway schools so that special and mainstream schools could work closely together. The overlap of sites is now an administrative nightmare to unravel as The Bridge becomes unaccountable to the local community and subject to company law. The legal costs of this are part of the £1.3 billion in legal fees that it would cost to meet the government's target to convert all the schools in the country to Academies by 2022. This is a ridiculous waste of money that could be being spent in schools. Two academy trusts a month are being reported to the DFE for financial irregularities. If The Bridge becomes one of them the consequence is forced incorporation into a larger Academy Trust. This would be the end for the school's distinctive ethos. Staff are concerned that this is a risky venture. "
Islington members join sixth form college reps and activists outside NUT HQ
EIGHT STEPS THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD TAKE:
The government says it wants to make a difference on teacher workload. This is what the NUT thinks she should do to really make a difference:
ü Reform accountability so it is based on trust
One of the fundamental drivers of excessive working hours is an accountability system that does not trust teachers. All levels of accountability should be reformed so that they are based on trust, respectful professional dialogue and proportionality. Necessarily this means the replacement of Ofsted/Estyn by a new school accountability system.
ü Introduce fundamental change on requirements relating to marking, planning, data, meetings and observations
Pending an accountability review, the Westminster and Wales Governments must take immediate action. All schools should be encouraged to reduce workload, including by abiding by the recent Ofsted clarifications. Estyn should issue a similar document without delay. Schools should not require teachers to:
i) use marking schemes which generate written dialogue between them and their pupils;
ii) provide evidence of the work that they do, outside that which arises naturally; and
iii) produce detailed lesson plans or hand them in.
Furthermore, schools should follow Ofsted’s own practice and desist from grading lesson observations, nor should they carry out more than 3 observations per year, except in cases of concern.
The Westminster and Wales Governments should write to schools to encourage them to reduce data collection demands, to limit after-school meetings and to promulgate agreed best practice, including around peer observations.
ü Allow time for curriculum and SEN reform
The Government should announce additional non-teaching days to allow teachers in England to prepare for the rushed curriculum and SEN changes and in future should plan such changes in consultation with the teacher organisations and over a longer period.
ü Reform the teacher pay system
The introduction of performance related pay has led to an increase in bureaucracy and working hours. The Government should:
i) announce a moratorium on linking pay to performance on the main scale whilst negotiations on a national pay system take place;
ii) remind schools that teachers on the upper scale do not have extra responsibilities - they have the same set of statutory duties as main scale teachers; and
iii) confirm that Ofsted/Estyn will not comment on pay policies.
ü Require schools to adopt a binding work-life balance policy
All schools should adopt a binding work-life balance policy. This policy should make clear that schools must have a proper regard for teachers’ legitimate expectations of a healthy balance between work and other commitments and be clear that if there is a new initiative which takes teacher time then something teachers currently do has to be dropped.
ü Measure workload every year
The workload diary survey of teacher hours should run annually, supervised by a panel drawn from the DFE and teacher unions. Michael Gove didn't run the survey in 2011 or 2012 and the 2013 findings showed huge increases in working hours over this period. Future surveys should cover England and Wales.
ü Set targets to reduce workload and introduce limits
The Government should adopt an immediate target for a reduction in teacher working hours across England and Wales and begin the phased introduction of binding limits on teacher working time. The last workload diary survey for England showed primary teachers working nearly 60 hours per week on average and secondary teachers almost 56 hours. Head teachers’ working hours were even higher.
ü Increase teacher numbers to improve education
Education would be improved by increasing the number of teachers. This would permit increased time for collaboration between teachers and the provision of more time within the school day for planning, preparation and assessment and would allow smaller classes and more individual support for children.
What do we want.....
A qualified teacher for every child in every lesson Allow councils to open new schools where they are needed Consult the profession properly on changes to the curriculum and to examinations Don’t test the very youngest Fund schools and colleges properly Remove excessive workload and pointless bureaucracy End performance related pay for teachers Reverse unfair pension changes Ensure government/union talks are about policies rather than just their implementation Make sure we have enough teachers
Read NUT EduFacts
As never before, education policy is being driven by ideology not evidence. Every government announcement is laden with myths about schools, teachers and our education system.
EduFacts - http://www.teachers.org.uk/edufacts - aims to challenge government and media rhetoric by presenting the facts about what's going on in our schools, our education system and in the teaching profession.