EASTER CONFERENCE BRIGHTON - UPDATE
Sun 1 April Motions debated/passed......
- uniting campaigns for LGBT+ and the fight against islamophobia
- tackling racism, the union reaffirms it stand and calls for more action to remove barriers
- fair treatment for disabled teachers, including realistic readjustments and more efforts to keep disabled teachers in their job
- full pay and pension rights for supply teachers and the reestablishment of supply teacher registers
- Priority motion condemning Ofsted statements on the wearing of the hijab and opposing the proposed “punish a Muslim” day
Sat 31 March Motions debated/passed......
- opposing further academisations of schools and bringing academies back under local democratic control
- school funding, to continue to campaign with parents groups locally and organise a national protest march
- how the housing crisis affects young teachers
- excessive salaries of academy CEOs, which have no moral or recruitment justification
- young people’s mental health, defending students from the damage caused by excessive testing and zero-tolerance behaviour regimes
- a National Education Service, like the NHS, a wide consultation on how to reverse the recent fragmentation of dschools and return to a coherent national system
- PAY are teachers ready to fight for a 5% pay rise by taking action? The NEU thinks the time is right and the necessary ballot majority can be achieved
Get THE TEACHER magazine here
Executive Member Robin Head addresses the Dorset NEU AGM, March 2018
School Cuts - the campaign continues
Are you being fairly paid? Did you receive pay progression or were you refused?
For full info and guidance on defending your pay click this link
Schools not exam factories
Which direction should our national education service be travelling? More than a score
Spring Term 2018 No.3
Funding Crisis? What Funding Crisis?
Opportunities to fund schools properly have come and gone. The autumn budget and spring statement made it clear that our austerity-obsessed government is still repeating the mantra that there's plenty of money in our schools and the protests of teachers, school leaders and parents are just alarmist nonsense. The so-called extra £1.3bn for general school budgets announced last summer (not £1.9bn as believed by one local MP) was not extra. It was redirected sums from the school buildiings and Free Schools headings. Dorset with its historically low funding arrangements is beginning to feel the pinch. Reductions in teaching staff, TLRs and support staff hours and posts are being forced through now. Here are some examples....
2 large Secondary Schools, 1 Secondary Academy, 3 small rural Primary Schools, 1 large Middle Academy.
Identities are withheld to protect the hard working staff who strive to keep their schools full and vibrant, but nevertheless have to suffer morale-sapping situations like this. Nor are the management teams to blame for these deteriorations - more often than not school leaders and governors have struggled for years to protect jobs and standards in the face of diminishing resources.
As class sizes go up, buildings fall down and our standing in the PISA table slides, where does the answer lie? The Education Secretary, The Chancellor, The PM, The Government - take your pick.
The key to teacher recruitment is cutting workload
The new Education Secretary Damian Hinds has quickly come to recognise the common sense the NUT has been talking for years. Government policies have failed to attract and retain teachers, in spite of millions thrown away on glossy ads. We have long been saying that micromanagement in schools is driving people away. The culprits are obvious - demands for excessively detailed lesson plans, over-prescriptive marking schemes, mock Ofsted inspections, unfocussed meetings which lead nowhere and decide little, collection of dubious data which is later used to damn and denigrate schools.
Speaking to a conference of Headteachers, Hinds said of these sorts of excessive workload factors "they are a distraction from the core purpose of education. And a costly distraction at that."
There are also other factors such as worsening pensions, frozen pay, denial of pay progression, lack of promotion opportunity and constant fiddling with tests, exams and the curriculum. On this, Hinds promised that there would be no new tests or curriculum changes. We shall see - will the times table fiasco go ahead?
No wonder new entrants are leaving after just a few years or so, when the shine has worn off and the "vocation" turns out not to be what was advertised.
Head of Ofsted Amanda Spielman increasingly recognises the problem. She has recently said it was "an utter travesty" that teachers had their enthusiasm crushed by the pressures of the job "especially when so many of those pressures are entirely unnecessary".
Finally Damian Hinds admits where fault lies, "I do want to acknowledge the government's part in this. Too many of our teachers and school leaders are working simply too long hours - and too often on tasks that the evidence shows are not helping children to learn."
Is your school falling into this trap of excessive workload which is ultimately letting down the pupils? You can bring things back to a sensible level by collective action. Tackling excessive workload is the theme of one of Dorset NEU's summer term meetings.
AT THE NEXT GENERAL MEETING IN MAY Dorset NEU (NUT Section) will propose the nomination of our local Executive Member Robin Head as National Treasurer.