Islington branch of the National Union of Teachers (NUT)

The DfE has published a poster with key recommendations for change in workload which should be followed in all schools. This is a really useful document for you and your colleagues to be using in your school to challenge some of the current practice. Full size copies and a leaflet can be downloaded from

and you can watch a video where Kevin Courtney (NUT General Secretary) outlines how this document can be used.

School Cuts

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.

In Islington we calculate the cuts to be around £12.5 million by 2020. This equates to £600 per pupil and would be equivalent to 335 teachers lost.

You can see our forecast for your school, and those in your neighbourhood,  at

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



Islington delegation at the NUT National Conference

Islington members join sixth form college reps and activists outside NUT HQ




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 Ofsteds 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 teacherslegitimate 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 timeThe 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 - - 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.