Welcome to the Lancashire Division of the NUT
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Welcome to the Lancashire Divisions of the National Union of Teachers

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Welcome to the Lancashire Divisions of the National Union of Teachers

Enough is Enough by PPCO

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Today, the NUT announced that members in England have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action to protect pay and working conditions. In the NUT’s ballot, 91.7% voted in favour of strike action.

The NUT is calling the first day of strike action on 5 July. The strike demands are to increase funding to schools and education, guarantee terms and conditions in all types of schools, and to resume negotiations on teacher contracts to allow workload to be addressed.

Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT is not taking action lightly. In light of the huge funding cuts to schools, worsening terms and conditions, and unmanageable and exhausting workloads, teachers cannot be expected to go on without significant change.

“The effects on children’s education are also real and damaging. As a result of school funding cuts, class sizes in primary and secondary schools are increasing, subject choices are being cut, and children are getting less individual attention as teachers and support staff are made redundant or not replaced when they leave. There is worse to come, with the Institute of Fiscal Studies predicting that the biggest real terms cuts to per pupil funding in a generation are on the way.

“There is already a teacher recruitment and retention crisis in our schools. Without significant change to the pay and working condition of teachers, this will simply deepen. We know that many parents share our concerns.

“At the absolute minimum, schools urgently need extra funding to meet the additional costs Government has put on them through increased National Insurance and pension payments. This amounts to a 5% charge on the teachers’ pay bill for schools. George Osborne is freezing the cash per pupil he gives to schools, whilst increasing what he takes from them. For every 20 teachers employed, a school has to find an extra teacher salary to give to the Treasury.

“The commitment from Government to ensure all schools become academies will result in decisions on pay and working conditions, including maternity/paternity rights and sick pay, being made at school level. There is absolutely no evidence that this sort of deregulation will lead to higher standards. There needs to be a guarantee of good standards for teachers’ terms and conditions across the board, in all schools. School leaders’ attention should be on educating children, not squandering huge amounts of time on negotiating individual staff members’ contracts.

“Nicky Morgan needs to engage properly with teachers to address the real problems that are occurring in our schools. The Education Secretary should negotiate with teacher unions on protections for school teachers from a workload crisis which is now completely out of hand. These problems are of the Government’s own making and it is time they addressed them before the education system in England falls apart at the seams.”

Categories: Campaigns, Divisional News, White Paper Posted: 23 Jun

Managing Workload by PPCO

Nicky Morgan has accepted the findings of the Report of the Independent Teacher Workload Review Group. Some of those findings include (click on each image to enlarge):

Categories: Campaigns, Divisional News, Workload Posted: 09 Jun

Ballot Open – Vote YES by PPCO

The ballot on strike action over the threat to national pay and conditions is open until June 22.

You should have received your ballot paper by May 25; if yours did not arrive, please call the ballot hotline on 020 7380 6300 between 9am and 5.15pm.

If all schools become academies, your national pay and conditions are at serious risk. These include maternity, paternity, directed time, pay progression and many more.

Please ensure that you return your ballot paper on time so that together we can fight to protect our terms and conditions.

Remember that our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions.

Categories: Campaign, Divisional News, White Paper Posted: 07 Jun

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

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

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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

NEXT MEETING by Rossendale NUT

Our final GENERAL MEETING of the academic year will be on:

MONDAY 4th JULY from 3.45pm

at

ALDER GRANGE COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY SCHOOL and SIXTH FORM

Please come and join us. Refreshments provided.

We are asking you to TAKE A STAND against the current damaging cuts and the catastrophic cuts still to come!

Help Protect Education

Categories: Rossendale Posted: 23 Jun

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

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

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

Fylde NUT pre-Easter Conference News by Ken

National Executive Election. Simon Jones has won the election for our area with a good majority. Simon thanks Fylde NUT for the support he got from us.

General Secretary Nomination. Tuesday’s Fylde NUT meeting unanimously nominated Kevin Courtney, the present DGS, helping to make up the ten nominations he needs.

Conference. Steve Nolan and Christine Marshall will be representing us at NUT Easter Conference which runs from Good Friday afternoon in Brighton. Our March Fylde NUT meeting discussed some of the big issues coming up, including the proposal for force all schools to become academies, including the 100% of Fylde state schools which have not chosen to become academies so far.

Academies. Two petitions opposing forcing schools to become academies have already got over 100,000 signatures each meaning that Parliament should discuss the matter. We hope that the disabled issue U-turn will be followed by a U-turn on this matter as well, particularly as Conservative local authorities are also upset by this move. It was not in the manifesto for the election either. Please add your signature if you have not already done so to Petition A and Petition B.

Next Fylde NUT Meeting – is on Thursday 28th April when all schools in the Fylde should be back in spite of having different holidays over Easter. It will be a report back on Conference. All members are to get a letter from the Office about it.

Categories: Fylde Posted: 24 Mar

Two Fylde NUT representatives met with Fylde MP, Mark Menzies over cuts to education affecting Fylde schools. by Ken

Anne Fielding’s comments on the meeting with our MP

Anne Fielding is Chair of Governors at Pear Tree School in Kirkham. She said, “Mr Mark Menzies claimed that funding to Schools had not been cut. I reminded Mark that staffing costs typically consume at least 80% of a school’s budget.  National Insurance rebate of 3.4% for ‘contracted out’ schemes is to be abolished.  The ending of the rebate therefore reduces the spending power of school budgets by 2.7% or more.  This increase will follow hard on the heels of the 2.4% rise in the employer’s contribution to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme in September 2015.  Under proposed changes to National Insurance contributions and the requirement of employers to increase contributions towards occupational pension schemes in schools, schools currently have to find this additional funding in their budgets. This is causing severe financial hardship for some schools. My own school has been funding our Children’s Centre from the School’s budget. We are concerned that funding is to be removed from our Children’s Centre under the new Zoning arrangements. The closing of the Centre would remove many vital services. Mark did agree that the services of the Centre were vital.

Craig Jack’s comments on the meeting with our MP

Craig Jack is a teacher at Lytham St. Annes High. He said that “the meeting with Mark Menzies went well. Mark was sympathetic to the need for more funding and the pace of change in education. However he was realistic about his influence, but said he would speak to the Secretary of State. He suggested that becoming an academy might help funding (but as you know all schools will be academies soon). He seemed more interested in the lack of school places and the possible need for a new secondary school to be built to accommodate the rising St Annes population. It was good to be listened to but I don’t think anything will change because of the meeting.”

Categories: Fylde Posted: 24 Mar