NUT News

18 August 2016

Commenting on today’s A-Level results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

“The National Union of Teachers congratulates all those students whose commitment to their studies has produced today’s A Level results. As well as recognizing their success, however, it is important to note the continuing problems of an examination system which is in several ways not fit for purpose.

‘First among the problems is the penalty that some schools have paid for the haste with which exam reform has been undertaken. This has been a very stressful time for 6th form teachers with new AS levels being introduced in year 12, at the same time as old syllabuses continue for year 13 students. Although a qualification in its own right, the AS level will no longer serve as a mid-way point to a full A-level or count towards the final grade.  This will reduce opportunities for young people, has been widely criticised across the education sector and is the reason for a significant fall in the number of AS entries. 

‘While  results  nationally may have remained in line with those in the previous year, the result of awarding bodies being required to adopt a ‘comparative outcomes’ approach will mean some schools and colleges may see considerable  variation. This reflects teachers’ level of discomfort about the speed in which the new specification has been introduced.

‘Secondly, we are once again seeing a continuation of the gradual trend towards the more traditional academic subjects required by the Russell universities. This will be reinforced by the new EBacc requirements at GCSE. It means that more young people are choosing to study subjects considered to be of ‘higher value’ rather than those in which they may be more interested. Problems with teacher recruitment are probably a significant reason for the fall in modern foreign languages. In a modern world this should be of concern to all.

‘There are also broader issues on which we need to reflect. The way that A-levels continue to dominate the sixth form curriculum reflects the fact that university, despite the fees and the recent abolition of maintenance grants for poorer students, continues to be seen as the only option by many young people. This is the result of a lack of real opportunities for apprenticeships and also reflects the fact that vocational qualifications continue to have lower status even with employers.

‘Finally young people from less well-off backgrounds will continue to be put off taking up university education through an inability to shoulder the rising cost and the hike in tuition fees. Unless this is addressed through the re-introduction of maintenance grants the Government will in effect be putting a cap on social mobility.” 

18 August 2016

18 August 2016

NUT Cymru, Wales’ largest union for qualified teachers, has sent its congratulations to the thousands of youngsters across the country, together with everyone involved in their achievements, as they celebrate their A Level results.

NUT Cymru Secretary, David Evans, said:

“There are some major positives to take from today’s results, as well as some areas of focus as we continue to improve the education system in Wales.  Overall the key message from today is to congratulate the students, teachers and parents who have worked together to secure these results.  It is particularly pleasing that the overall pass rate remains very high.

“We will have to examine the reason for the marginal fall the very top grades, although it should be recognised that last year’s result was the high water mark for these grades since 2010.  Different cohorts of pupils can provide small variations in performance, that shouldn’t necessarily always lead to sweeping conclusions.

“We must always remember that teachers are facing ever tightening school budgets and have been delivering these high quality grades against the backdrop of major reforms in recent years.  That we continue to post excellent results within that context is a credit to the teaching profession and our pupils.”

18 August 2016

23 August 2016

Commenting on the resignation of David Hoare, the chair of Ofsted who made unacceptable comments about the Isle of Wight, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

 “David Hoare’s comments were insulting and ill-judged. It is correct that Mr Hoare has resigned from the post. Schools and teachers in areas facing challenges need constructive support and fair evaluation not denigration. It’s all too easy to throw insults around rather than exploring realistic answers.

‘Teachers learn quickly that you must never insult or ridicule children. Yet we have developed a culture among politicians and Chief Inspectors which assumes that ranking schools and geographical areas, using demeaning labels and instilling fear and anger amongst professionals is somehow productive. This is a moment to stop and reject such an approach.

‘Ofsted is losing credibility as an inspectorate independent of Government. It is a major cause of excessive and debilitating workload for teachers and remains one of the main reasons teachers leave the profession. It needs to be replaced by a new model of school accountability which is demonstrably independent, developed in conjunction with the teaching profession.”

23 August 2016

Welcome to our website

The aim of this site is to provide Cambridgeshire NUT members with up-to-date information. We will be posting more material in due course, but if you spot any errors or have any suggestions about useful items, please contact us at

We send regular e-mail updates to our members with the very latest information about NUT activity, locally and nationally. If you are not already receiving these, please write your e-mail address in the box below and click 'submit'.

find us on Facebook
follow us on Twitter @CambsNUT


(see left hand column of 'LINKS' page)

Latest news from Cambridgeshire Association

25 Jun 2016

What will happen to our Children’s Centres?

  All the major political parties seem to agree that early intervention to support children’s’ learning is better than trying...
15 Sep 2014

International solidarity - action

Garment workers for Tuba Group in Bangladesh have been on hunger strike occupying a clothes factory last month until their...
13 Jul 2014

International Solidarity

Cambridgeshire Association has co-opted Asim Khairdean onto its Committee as International Solidarity Officer. On the 24th May 2014, Asim attended...
1 Nov 2013

Help us run our Union branch

We are looking for people to join our Committee. No previous experience is necessary; just a desire to help the...
7 Jul 2013

Pay policy letter to Heads - July 2013

The NUT and NASUWT in Cambridgeshire have sent a letter to all Headteachers setting out our requirements for any new...
7 Jul 2013

Cambridgeshire Association meetings dates 2013/14

GENERAL MEETINGS of Cambridgeshire Association NUT Thursday September 5th 2013 – joint NUT/NASUWT reps meeting, Holiday Inn, Histon Saturday September...
15 Jun 2013

Don't let the racists use the Woolwich murder to divide our communities

At the Cambridgeshire NUT General Meeting held on Wednesday 12th June, 2013, members agreed to sign up to the following...
27 May 2013

Defend universal pensioner benefits - new online petition

The NPC has launched a new online petition – calling for the continuation of universal pensioner benefits such as concessionary...
3 Mar 2013
12 Sep 2012


The NUT has published an offical response to the GCSE marking fiasco. You can also read a couple of articles...



Note: these dates are provisional and will be confirmed to all members nearer the tim.

Wed 12th Oct 2016
Wed 7th Dec 2016
Wed 25th Jan 2017 (AGM)
Wed 22nd Feb 2017
Wed 7th Jun 2017

Wed 14th Sep 2016
Wed 2nd Nov 2016
Wed 23rd Nov 2016
Wed 11th Jan 2017
Wed 8th Feb 2017
Wed 8th Mar 2017
Wed 5th Apr 2017
Wed 3rd May 2017
Wed 28th Jun 2017
Wed 12th Jul 2017

New Teachers' Event:
Wed 28th Sep 2016

NUT Conference:
14th-18th Apr 2017

Events and Conferences

NUT courses: click here

If you would like Cambs. Association to paty your expenses for any NUT conference or course please contact the Secretary at

The 2016 Retired Members' Section Lunches and Activities Programme is now available. Please go to the 'Retired Members' section of this website. For information about our retired members section, please 'phone the Secretary, Tony Dutton, on 01480 463807 or email