General Meeting 30th April 2015

posted 7 May 2015, 08:14 by general office   [ updated 7 May 2015, 08:21 ]

Fixed Business

Cat Tookey was nominated for the post of Vice President. This was agreed and she is considering the nomination.
Kiren Mirza did not wish to stand as Equalities officer following her nomination at the previous meeting.

 National officers’ elections. 
The following nominations were agreed:
Vice President - Louise Regan 
Vice President - Kiri Tunks
National Treasurer – Ian Murch 
Examiner of Accounts – Alyson Palmer 


(a) Baseline Testing


ITA is greatly concerned by the continued focus of the government on testing in primary schools and in particular the introduction of new baseline assessment in reception that is due to be introduced in sept 2016.

We believe that the proposals for baseline assessment programmes to be administered to 4 year olds in the first few weeks of Reception would subject children who are not yet of statutory school age - some barely past their 4th birthday - to assessments in the name of accountability, so that schools can demonstrate the "value" they add between Reception and Year 6.

We do not believe that the proposed assessments are a reliable or valid source of data for this purpose, and so will not improve the quality of schools, and will not benefit children - in fact, for many, the process could be harmful.

We note that at the end of January government plans to announce the names of the commercial companies selected to offer the baseline assessments, and schools will be asked to sign up to them.

We welcome the National Conference decision to develop a campaign to abolish Baseline assessment, as part of a strategy to undermine testing in primary schools.

We call on whichever government comes to power in the Election to reverse the decision swiftly to avoid time and money being spent on a process that previous experience in England and Wales has shown to be an ill-advised approach to assessment in the early years

ITA further calls on members to campaign within their schools to persuade them not to take part in the ‘trial’ schemes due to start in September 2015

We agree to work with campaigning groups, parents, support staff and others in order for Islington members to be able to boycott the assessments in the Summer of 2016.


(b) Housing

ITA notes

1.       The housing crisis in London is impacting on the lives of all young workers and young teachers are no exception.

2.       That an average London home now costs over £500,000, and has been rising at the rate of over £40,000 a year.

3.       That the majority of young teachers are now forced to rent.

4.       That a shortage of social housing means that they are being forced into an unregulated private renting market, where average rents for a 2-bed home exceed £1000 per month.

5.       That many teachers are forced to leave the capital because of this, contributing to a looming teacher shortage.

6.       That although London Weighting is primarily an allowance to reflect higher housing costs, there has been no rise in recent years whilst average rents and house prices have doubled.

7.       The growing housing movement in London with many localised campaigns by tenants against gentrification schemes which displace social housing tenants, and the recent March for Homes.

8.       That the 2015 NUT conference  passed a motion calling for the union to “campaign for genuinely affordable housing for teachers and others across the public sector” (also highlighting the declining value of London allowances and calling for an end to the now outdated distinction between Inner and Outer London Allowances). The motion also congratulated teachers who joined the recent London March for Homes under the banner “London needs teachers.  Teachers Can’t Afford London”


ITA believes

1.       That there is an urgent need to regulate the housing market in line with TUC policy which calls for more council housebuilding, rent controls and an end to Right to Buy.

2.       That Boris Johnson’s decision to allow “affordable” housing to be defined as 80% of market rent has contributed to the problem, as has his support for “regeneration” projects which have led to the demolition of 8,000 council homes, and the reduction of support to the keyworker scheme.

3.       That as well as impacting on teachers the housing crisis is having a devastating impact on the lives of many of the children we teach, leading to poverty,  upheaval, instability, and overcrowding.

4.       That London Weighting needs to be increased substantially and that the Outer London rate is particularly outdated and needs to be reviewed.


ITA resolves

1.       To support the London Teachers Housing campaign (LTHC) and make a donation of £100.

2.       To support and publicise actions called by the LTHC.

3.       To support local housing campaigns and work with Defend Council Housing, Generation rent and others seeking to highlight issues in the local area.

4.       To highlight housing problems in union materials and encourage teachers to raise these issues through the NUT and the LTHC.

5.       To seek to work with Trades Councils and the wider labour movement to build the broadest possible movement for affordable living in London.

6.       To send this resolution to the London Regional Council of the NUT asking for its endorsement.


(c) Solar Power

Islington NUT 

·  Notes that of over 3000 schools in London only 200 have solar panels.

·  Welcomes the resolution passed by the GLA in January calling for the Mayor to devote spare funds to the promotion of solar power in schools but notes that MLAs from the Mayor's Party voted against doing so.

·  Believes that too many schools are prevented from investing in solar power by being listed buildings and calls for a change in the law to give priority to carbon reduction over heritage issues.

Resolves to:

·  propose to Islington that any new school buildings should incorporate solar technology as well as being zero carbon rated.

·  circulate this resolution to the appropriate councillors, Members of London Assembly, MEPs, Islington MPs and other NUT associations in London.

·  Circulate information about the Friends of the Earth Run on Sun initiatives to our Reps and propose that Islington circulate Heads and Chairs of Governors. 


(d) Austerity

Islington NUT 

·  recognises that austerity economics makes no contribution to deficit reduction and is simply a means to transfer wealth and power from the bottom of society to the top

·  notes that, even for those who believe that it is, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report that on current growth trends there is no need to make cuts to "balance the books" after the first year of the next parliament

·  welcomes the challenge to the government's austerity narrative that is being made by significant political forces in this election campaign and the calling of a national demonstration to "End Austerity Now" by the People's Assembly on June 20th.

·  recognises that this should be a shot across the bows of the new government and an organising focus for what will need to be a continuing mass movement to either inhibit a minority Tory government trying to press on regardless with austerity heavy, or encourage a minority Labour government to draw back from austerity lite.

·  resolves to build for the largest possible turn out from teachers at this demonstration as the first step in our campaign to defend school funding.