Welcome to the Lancashire Division of the NUT

Welcome to the Lancashire Divisions of the National Union of Teachers


Welcome to the Lancashire Divisions of the National Union of Teachers

Alternative Classroom – Press Release by PPCO

On Saturday 7th May members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) from Lancaster, Morecambe and District held an Alternative Classroom in Market Square.

We were there to highlight the damaging effect on our children of the excessive testing regime currently imposed in our schools.

Parents and members of the public were able to see and try the very difficult practise tests for children in Year2 and Year6, aged six and ten.

We also had an’ Alternative Classroom’ where children and parents were able to enjoy fun science experiments, history investigations and practical maths. Most preferred the fun learning activities to the tests!

We collected over 300 signatures in defence of education and in opposition to the government White Paper on academies.

In the week beginning Monday 9th May our  Year 6 children in primary schools sat these national tests. They were worse than we expected. In particular the reading test was extremely difficult (copy will be released after May 20th). Teachers reported children breaking down in tears and being sick.

The government is forcing children to take tests in order to fail. As teachers and headteachers we believe this is wrong.

We will continue our campaign to bring these tests to an end. We hope to stop the testing for next year.

There will be a public meeting against inappropriate testing in primary schools, called by the local Primary Heads group on Friday May 20th at 4.30 pm in the Hugh Pollard lecture theatre, University of Cumbria, Lancaster Campus. All welcome.

We are holding more Alternative Classrooms – in the Arndale, Morecambe on Saturday May 21st from 11am-1pm and in Market Square, Lancaster on Saturday June 11th.

Our union, the NUT, is campaigning against the government’s plans to make all schools academies by 2022 and is set to ballot members this month for strike action against the inevitable outcome: further erosion our national pay and conditions.

Our schools need to be properly funded in order to ensure that all children are taught by fully qualified teachers. We also object to the proposal that removes the requirement for there to be any parents governors an any academy.

The ballot runs from 23rd May until  22nd June with a proposed date for action in the first week of July. Parents who took their children out on strike against the tests are already discussing how they can support teachers and help win the ballot.


S Ud-din, Secretary, Lancaster, Morecambe and District NUT.

Categories: Campaign, Divisional News Posted: 23 May

Lancaster comes out fighting! by Sam

Coming back from Anual Conference in Brighton at Easter weekend, LM&D got straight into the action!

An Emergency Meeting at The Borough ( our usual venue): over 60 at one of our best attended meetings for years!20160405_185931

This lead on to a Public Meeting at Lancaster Town Hall, with nearly 200 present.

A5 Public meeting Flyer


Quickly followed by the Parents and Pupils Strike, with hundreds in Williamson Park and Happy Mount Park and over a thousand  pupils off school.

PDE poster 140516



And though on the 6th, the DfE announced a climbdown on their White Paper – the threat to our terms and conditions, pay and schools stays. So the campaign – ballot and strike – are still on!

Categories: Campaign, Divisional News, Lancaster, Morecambe and District Posted: 07 May

#NUT16 – Day Five by PPCO

The final day of conference kicked off with motions on Fair Pay for Individual Teachers and for the Whole Profession, and Greater London Pay. We then moved on to motion 62 on Changes to the Rule Book and  then the International Section, with motion 63: The European Union.

With this completed we moved into unfinished business, for motions that had been started but not finished during the conference or those that hadn’t yet been started. There were a number of motions in this section, as well as a large number that did not and therefore have automatically fallen. Motion 45 on Trade Union Rights, which had already been started, was finalised, and motions 33 (Early Years) and 46 (Climate Change) were started and carried.

Next up was one of the most anticipated parts of this year’s conference – the General Secretary’s address. Given that this was to be Christine Blower’s last conference as General Secretary, it was always going to be a highlight. Christine covered a vast range of topics, from the White Paper and all of its implications, to testing, international campaigns and how we can work alongside the junior doctors to increase the strength of our campaigning. The full text of Christine’s speech can be found here.

The last items of conference were the votes of thanks – to those who organise the conference, to new President Anne Swift, and to the people of Brighton for hosting us. And with that, the 144th Annual Conference of the National Union of Teachers closed.

Categories: Divisional News Posted: 01 Apr

#NUT16 – Day Four by PPCO

The memorandum regarding changes to the structure and make-up of the  National Executive Committee, and Districts, dominated the early part of the morning session on Monday. Whilst there are areas that require further reflection, and allowance has been made for this by passing amendment 1, the motion itself was also passed. There will now be a significant amount of work to be done on establishing how and when to implement the recommendations of the memorandum. We will keep our members updated as information becomes available.

A number of equalities motions followed this: motion 38, Investing in Disable Teachers; motion 40, SEND Reforms; and motion 41, Racism and Migration. We are pleased to report that these were all carried by conference.

Following this was a speech from John Hilary from War on Want. He spoke at length about austerity measures and the impact that they are having on people, and on the detrimental impact of TTIP.

There were a number of important motions passed throughout the rest of the day:

* Motion 23: Prevent
* Motion 24: Children Are More Than A Score
* Motion 25: Ofsted

Motion 32, Boycott of Primary School Testing, was also finished. This had been started earlier in the conference, alongside the priority motion. Whilst the motion does instruct the executive to consider a boycott of the 2016 tests, this is not practical given the time frame. There is not enough time to legally ballot members over a boycott before the tests are due to take place. However, Lancashire division will be investigating what action may be possible this year, with a view to taking part in a potential future ballot for next year. Please attend forthcoming association meetings to discuss these plans in more depth.

The rest of the afternoon session saw the Wales section motions, as well as motion 54 (Young Teachers – Protecting the Future of the Profession), motion 56 (Supporting School Leadership), motion 57 (Organising for Equality) and motion 58 (Local Officers and a Lay Led Union).

Yesterday also saw the unanimous passing of motion 44 – Children and Young People’s Mental Health. This motion was seconded by Fylde NUT’s Steve Nolan, who gave a very impassioned speech about the impact that the lack of fully funded mental health services for children has. This is a hugely important issue and we are proud that part of the Lancashire delegation has had a hand in ensuring that this becomes union policy.


Categories: Divisional News Posted: 29 Mar

#NUT16 Day Three by PPCO

Day three of conference started with a moving speech from guest speaker Hugo Aboites about neoliberal education reform in Mexico. It was a stark reminder of the often dangerous conditions that teachers around the world face on a daily basis.

The first motion to be debated was the priority motion on primary assessment. This priority motion is on the agenda in parallel with the national union’s Exam Factories campaign and the motion seeks a number of things, including:

* Continue to publicise the workload implications of the testing agenda, including how Action Short of Strike Action (ASOS) instructions can be utilised;
* Continue to organise and campaign with all relevant unions and organisations;
* Lobby MPs;
* Ensure that data gained from such tests will not be published in school league tables;
* Use evidence to launch a new forum against such testing, to include unions, community and parent groups, authors, psychologists, headteachers and governors;
* Actively explore a boycott of the 2017 tests; and
* Prepare materials that can be used in meetings, stalls and rallies across the country.

Photo credit: Justin Tallis

Photo credit: Justin Tallis

There was quite some debate on this motion, not based on a lack of support for the motion but whether or not it goes far enough. The NUT is now calling on the government to cancel the 2016 tests (based on an amendment to the motion which also passed), with a potential ballot in the works for a ballot and fuller boycott of the tests in 2016-17.

Following the priority motion were two motions from the Equalities section: motion 36 (Impact of Government Policies on Race Equality) and motion 37 (Equality, Solidarity and Trade Unionism – a motion with an LGBT+ focus). Both motions were debated with passionate speeches and horrifying personal stories of racism and threatening behaviour directed at members. Unsurprisingly, both motions passed with much support.

Finally there was debate on a memorandum to conference which details proposed changes to the National Executive Committee. This is a contentious memorandum and it’s clear that there is both much support for it alongside a need to be certain that changes appropriately reflect our union and can meet the needs of our members. This debate was scheduled to continue on Monday morning; the results of which will be available tomorrow.

Given that it was Easter Sunday, conference then broke for the day to allow delegates to spend time with their families and attend regional receptions and fringe meetings.

Categories: Divisional News Posted: 28 Mar

Three Important Local Meetings by Ken

May & June 2016 Fylde NUT Meetings

The pre-ballot meeting is on Wednesday 25th May.  We then meet again after the ballot closes on Wednesday 29th June. We will be learning more about the White Paper which threatens all our Fylde schools with academy status by 2022 (in spite of the apparent U-turn), along with all our present pay and conditions safeguards. This looks designed both to save money at our expense and also hand power and control in education over to edu-business, and place state education firmly in the market place, with all that entails. We will also be looking at how we can force a Workload Breakthrough – see below for more details on these issues.

Click here for the Fylde NUT meetings poster.

 Joint Anti-Cuts Meeting on Thursday May 26th

Our NUT National Executive Member will be on a platform with the Blackpool Council Leader, the Lancashire Police Commissioner and the Fire Brigade Union, informing each other about the cuts affecting our sectors and finding ways of opposing them. The meeting is hosted by BAC (Blackpool Against Cuts).

Click here for the BAC meeting poster.

Categories: Fylde Posted: 23 May

The forced academy U-turn that isn’t really a U-turn – unless we make it so! by Ken

Nicky Morgan’s much heralded U-turn is not all it seems.  She has said –

“Making every school an academy is the best way to ensure every child has access to a world class education. Having listened to the feedback from Parliamentary colleagues and the education sector, we will now change the path to reaching that goal.”

The first sentence is increasingly being seen as nonsense. The second is more a swerve than a U-turn as the Government have restated unequivocally their determination to turn every school into an Academy. Our victory has been in getting a substantial campaign going, working with allies, exposing Government fault lines and causing them embarrassment, especially in the media. They look out of control and out of touch. If we can now cause a policy U-turn, stopping them reaching their goal, their credibility over education will suffer a substantial knock, which they fully deserve. What we need to expose next is how their new path, almost like their old path, can force just about any school to become any academy, including Fylde schools.

The Government are giving themselves powers to force every school in a local authority area to become academies if the authority is “failing”. The “too hard” Stage 2 SATs will provide justification in many cases. LEAS which are “non viable” will also have academisation forced on them. This is in addition to the academisation of “coasting” schools. No school is safe.  The Government believe they are still on track to pretty much complete the process over the next 5 years.

Read the Fylde NUT May 2016 Newsletter on this link for more news on what the White Paper is planning for our futures and what we are planning to do about it.

Categories: Fylde Posted: 10 May

Actions agreed at the Fylde NUT April 2016 meeting: by Ken

  • May Newsletter. This will be sent to all members. It has information on both the White Paper dangers and practical help to reduce Workload.  Click here for this Newsletter.
  • Workload Posters. All members will be send three posters on what the Government are saying teachers no longer need to do. Link to Poster on Marking.  Link to Poster on Data Management.  Link to Poster on Planning.
  • Advice to go with the three posters will go on our webpage. Scroll down to read that advice under the heading, “Workload Breakthrough”.
  • Meetings for Parents to explain the dangers of the White Paper proposals will be supported. There is a meeting on May 14th in Manchester  Click here
  • Beyond the Exam Factory is the theme of this year’s NUT National Education Conference. Click here for details. Let us know if you would like to attend.
  • Cuts to Local Services. Fylde NUT is supporting this public meeting in Blackpool on the evening of May 26th. Simon Jones, our National Executive Member, will be speaking on education.  Click here for a poster on the meeting.
  • For Other Actionsclick here.
Categories: Fylde Posted: 01 May

Workload Breakthrough by Ken

We have campaigned long and hard about workload for teachers, and we often don’t seem to be getting anywhere.

At last we have some black and white evidence to to help us say NO MORE! This evidence is from the Government itself. It is summed up on these three NUT posters. When teachers saw them at our April meeting, they said, “Brilliant! Get them out to all our members.” – 

Link to Marking Poster

Link to Data Poster

Link to Planning Poster

Why has this happened?

Well, one result of our strike action up to 2014 was that the Government agreed to set up its own “independent” working groups on unnecessary workload burdens associated with data management, planning and marking. 44,000 teachers responded with evidence. With a deliberate lack of fanfare the Government finally published these reports at the end of March. We believe that they have not been well advertised because some of what they say is devastating to the obsessive regime of scrutiny and over-control that Governments have hung over teachers in recent years and which now must come to an end.

Here are a few quotes:

“Ineffective marking… usually involves an excessive reliance on the labour intensive practices… such as extensive written comments in different colour pens, or the indication of when verbal feedback has been given by adding ‘VF’ on a pupil’s work……Deep marking often acts as a proxy for ‘good’ teaching… the perception exists that the amount of marking a teacher does equals their level of professionalism and effectiveness. These are false assumptions….It can be unmanageable for teachers, and teachers forced to mark work late at night and at weekends are unlikely to operate effectively in the classroom.”

“Too often… the collection of data becomes an end in itself, divorced from the core purpose of improving outcomes for pupils, often just to ‘be ready’ in case data are needed… This increases the workload of teachers and school leaders for little discernible benefit..…many teachers and school leaders respond to the demands of the accountability system by trying to demonstrate competence and progress through injudicious and excessive use of data, without appropriate sense of its validity or purpose.”

“The lesson plan acting as a proxy seems to be the key driver of unnecessary workload as the requirement to produce detailed lessons plans is often linked to evidence gathering rather than teaching….Teachers spend an undue amount of time planning and resourcing lessons, and there are clear measures that should be taken by Government, Ofsted, schools, and teachers to lessen this burden.”


Let’s use this information to cut back on workload.

Ask for a meeting in your school to consider how to implement the reports. Here is a link to the Government website where they can be found –

DFE Reports on Marking, Data Use and Planning

The Secretary of State responded very clearly. There is now not even a fig leaf of an excuse for any school management to carry on expecting teachers to do those things.

Nicky Morgan’s response to the Reports

You can also download the three posters, save them, print them, share them, give copies to your head, and put them on the notice board. It’s time for teachers to regain our own lives. It’s time for all of us to put an end to the exam factory approach in our schools which is so damaging to real education.

Categories: Fylde Posted: 29 Apr

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Categories: Uncategorized Posted: 22 Apr

Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Special General Meeting by Hyndburn Ribble Valley

A special general meeting of the HRV Association will be held on Wednesday 27 April at 4.30pm, at Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School, Oswaldtwistle.

The agenda will include the latest news on the White Paper: Wrong Priorities campaign and our nomination for the General Secretary election.

Categories: Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Posted: 16 Apr

South Ribble Association Meeting by Rose

The next South Ribble Association meeting will take place on Thursday 28 April at 6pm, at Whitefield Primary School in Penwortham.

The agenda will include nominations for the General Secretary.

Categories: South Ribble Posted: 14 Apr

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Categories: Uncategorized Posted: 06 Apr

Fylde NUT Meeting to discuss the Government’s White Paper by Ken

Fylde NUT Meeting – Thursday 28th April (when all schools in the Fylde should be back in spite of having different holidays over Easter). It will be at Carr Hill High School, Kirkham, at 4.15pm for a 4.30pm start.

If you ever told yourself that you would only attend a Union meeting if things got really serious, then this is the time to attend because of the new chilling White Paper from the Government. It includes –

  • Forcing all schools to become academies
  • Ending national pay and conditions
  • Removing QTS and university based training
  • Removing parents from governing bodies

The meeting will both discuss this and hear back from our Fylde delegates to the NUT Easter Conference where the matter was also dealt with. To see our Fylde NUT newsletter with more information on the White Paper click here.

Academy Petitions. Three petitions opposing forcing schools to become academies have already got over 100,000 signatures each meaning that Parliament should discuss the matter.  It was certainly not in the manifesto for the election. Please add your signature if you have not already done so to Petition A and Petition B.

Petition C is a 38 Degrees petition which includes the Fylde – please change the example name to your own.


Categories: Fylde Posted: 04 Apr

Qualities of Helpful, Respectable, and Loved Chief by Hyndburn Ribble Valley

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Categories: Uncategorized Posted: 04 Apr