Islington District - National Education Union

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National Education Union members working in City & Islington Sixth Form College (along with members in many other colleges across the country) took their 4th, 5th and 6th days of strike action on Wednesday 12 February, Thursday 27 February and Tuesday 10 March (the day before Budget day) to defend their pay, working conditions and employment.

It is to the Government’s shame that cuts to 16-19 funding have been deeper and have gone on for longer than any other school sector. The Education Select Committee has said that funding per student fell by a full 16% in real terms between 2010–11 and 2018–19 – twice the fall in school funding (8%). There is currently an overall £700 million shortfall in funding for Post 16 Education.

Teaching staff numbers and support staff posts have fallen significantly due to the real-terms cuts, while at the same time student numbers have risen. This weighs heavily on our members’ workload and is putting the future of Sixth Form Colleges under serious threat. If the crisis continues to go unaddressed, it is students’ education that will suffer.

The NEU is arguing for the pay of Sixth Form College teachers and support staff to be restored to match that in schools, and for action on workload and job losses caused by underfunding.

NEU members took action to secure the funding needed to sustain fair pay, conditions and employment, including reversing job losses, class size increases, and cuts to teaching time and curriculum provision.


Five Challenges for the New Government

The Conservatives did not win the election on education: their promises on school funding were insufficient, their plans to bring back no-notice Ofsted inspections left teachers and TAs dismayed and they ignored the severe and escalating crisis of child poverty.

We make these five challenges to the Government as we believe that they are issues that they must urgently address

  1. End school cuts and invest in education
  2. End child poverty
  3. Replace Ofsted with a fair way of evaluating schools
  4. End high-stakes primary testing
  5. Address the teacher retention and recruitment crisis
Support our call by adding your name to our statement here


Big thanks to your members for contributing £100 to Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition.  It is particularly welcome to receive support from the NEU as the NHS is suffering many similar issues as Education, particularly the privatisation of the running of bits of it, underfunding and very poor pay leading to shortages of staff.

Whittington Hospital is currently facing TWO court cases. One relating to a missed diagnosis of cervical cancer, an area of medicine in which they have been world leaders. So that is shocking. And the case in which we are involved, where Grenfell contractors are suing the Hospital for FOURTEEN MILLION pounds for deciding not to procure them to loan money and to plan for their Estate Strategy. This whole debacle relates to the refusal of the Government to finance much needed hospital development and of course the use of private and reckless private companies who put profits before safety.

Our fightback is costly. So your support is great. Of course, there will be more battles to fight under the new Government.

With thanks and in solidarity

 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