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Welcome to the Lancashire Division of the NUT

Press release: support for members campaigning over cuts to education by PPCO

The National Union of Teachers wants to express its unequivocal support for all local children, parents, teachers (at every level within schools) and governors who have been campaigning to defend education. We deplore the attack on both individuals and specific schools that have been made in some online reports recently. Responsible reporting should focus on the issues, not denigrate those seeking to stand up for our children. It’s wholly wrong to impugn the integrity of heads and teachers who are concerned about the devastating cuts their schools are facing.

For this and previous governments, and any of their representatives, to try to use ‘purdah’ rules to stop every publicly employed person from speaking out coming up to any election is not acceptable.

Everyone in education, the NHS and every other public-sector service would be silenced if some MPs had their way. The public is rejecting more and more the behind-the-scenes obstruction and intimidation that some MPs have resorted to, rather than the open and transparent engagement in public debate that we should expect from our representatives.

If governments do not want schools to be politicised then they must cease making politically-biased decisions about them: about their structures, about what is taught, about how it’s taught, about how assessments are undertaken and used, about how staff are paid and judged. Any campaigning by local groups or individuals has focussed on the acknowledged and very real damage done to our children by reducing the funds available to our schools and by squeezing the curriculum offer available. We can’t ignore these issues.

Many letters from schools in dozens of local authorities across the country were referred to in a recent national online newspaper report. The last sentence of the report should have been the first: “however, the institute for fiscal studies said rising student numbers and inflation would lead to real terms cuts.”

School leaders are just telling parents these facts. Speaking the truth should not be a crime.

S. Ud-din & S. Bedwell

Joint Division Secretaries, Lancashire NUT

Categories: Divisional News Posted: 30 Jun

Mental Health First Aid by PPCO

Free Mental Health First Aid Training Course

Friday 16th and Saturday 17th June, 2017

The National Union of Teachers has great pleasure in inviting you, as an NUT headteacher, to our first accredited Mental Health First Aid two-day residential training course, which is taking place on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th June, 2017 at the Wrightington Hotel and Country Club, Wigan.  This course is entirely free for NUT headteachers and includes all training materials, accommodation, meals and use of the hotel’s leisure facilities. 

The course is divided into four sessions:

Friday

Session 1

Mental Health First Aid, mental health and depression

Session 2

Depression (continued) and suicidal crisis

Saturday

Session 3

Anxiety, personality disorders, eating disorders and self-harm

Session 4

Psychosis, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

It is hoped that these sessions will give a deeper understanding of the issues that impact on, and relate to, people’s mental health as well as teach practical skills that can be used every day, including being able to spot the signs and symptoms of mental health issues and feel confident guiding people towards appropriate support. 

Every course participant will receive a copy of the Mental Health First Aid England manual and workbook, both of which are excellent resources.  On completion of the course, participants will also receive a certificate to confirm that they are a trained Mental Health First Aider. 

We have chosen the Wrightington Hotel and Country Club to try to promote your mental wellbeing whilst on the course.  The leisure facilities available at the hotel include a swimming pool, steam room, spa pool, gymnasium and virtual indoor cycling, all of which are available for you to use during your free time over the two day course. 

Click here to book your place. 

The 15 available places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. 

Categories: Divisional News Posted: 22 May

Lancashire Speakers at #NUT17 by PPCO

Amendment 12.3 (motion 12 was on education funding), moved by Sam Ud-din and seconded by Siobhan Collingwood. The amendment starts at 31 minutes.

Motion 37 was about primary assessment. Amendment 37.1 was moved and seconded by Siobhan Collingwood and Jessica Christie. The amendment starts at 10:30.

See National Officer of the Year Sam Ud-din receive his award.

Categories: Divisional News, Primary Assessment Posted: 03 May

Save Our Schools – Rally in Lancaster by PPCO

A free bus will be running from East Lancashire, leaving from Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School at 9.15am. Seats are limited – please contact Sarah Bedwell on 07736 151235 or secretary@hyndburn-and-ribble-valley.nut.org.uk to book places.

Categories: Campaigns, Divisional News Posted: 03 May

#NUT17 – Day 5 by PPCO

The final day of #NUT17 started with the continuation of the Employment Conditions and Rights section. The following motions were passed:

  • Motion 21: National Contract for All Teachers
  • Motion 22: Teacher Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Motion 23: Staff Wellbeing
  • Motion 24: Putting “Support” Back Into Support Plans
  • Motion 25: Bullying
  • Motion 26: Why Is the Asbestos Time Bomb Still In Our Schools?

All of these motions provide the national executive with clear policy for providing support for teachers on a range of issues. Stress and workload are key issues that members deal with, and contribute significantly to the retention crisis. Motion 21 includes instructions around PPA, class sizes, limits on directed time, national pay scales, pay progression and portability and a commitment to full application of the conditions outlined in both the Burgundy Book and the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document.

Following the conclusion of this section conference moved into unfinished business and back to Motion 38: Boycott Primary Testing. The specific wording of both the main motion and amendment 38.1 (amendment 38.2 was withdrawn) caused some contention amongst delegates, particularly given the successful completion of Motion 37 (Primary Assessment: A Broken System). Both the amendment and main motion were lost, although the voting results were quite close. Nevertheless, conference has given a clear direction of travel for the continuing campaign against primary testing and on balloting members for action over the KS2 SATs.

The next unfinished motion to be heard was Motion 52: Supply Teacher Representation. Whilst both the amendment and main motion were also lost, once again the commitment to supporting supply teachers in the unique issues that they face, particularly when it comes to pay and conditions, has been covered through Motion 20. The issue of representation for supply teachers on the national executive on the new union will continue to be a discussion point as negotiations go forward.

The final three motions to pass at #NUT17 were Motion 39: Early Years Funding; Motion 46: Prevent Strategy; and Motion 40: Nursery Schools and Threats to Early Years Education.

#NUT17 is the final annual conference to take place whilst the NUT is a standalone union. As well as this, it was also General Secretary Kevin Courtney’s first address to conference as GS – with the added news of the snap general election having broken less than an hour before Kevin took to the rostrum! You can watch his speech below.

That wraps up our #NUT17 coverage. Lancashire NUT will be organising rallies and street stalls across the division over the next few weeks and months as we continue to campaign on existing issues and those that will arise in the future. Keep an eye on our website and social media for more details.

Categories: Divisional News Posted: 18 Apr

#NUT17 – Day 4 by PPCO

Day 4 of the conference started with a little more debate on Motion 38: Boycott Primary Testing. As there was only a short window of time to continue the previous section, whilst some progress was made it was again pushed back for later in the conference.

We then moved on to the Equalities section. The first motion, Motion 41: An All-Through LGBT+ Inclusive PSHE and SRE Curriculum sought to expand on the limited SRE curriculum being offered, and to ensure that it is inclusive for all pupils by including a focus on LGBT+ matters, and to continue supporting and promoting LGBT+ organisations and events such as Schools OUT and National LGBT History Month.

Motion 42 was the Black Teachers: Looking Back and Moving Forward motion. Conference heard from delegates such as Rochdale’s Niparun Nessa, who was consistently confused with the only other black teacher in her school, and from Sharon John, a primary teacher who was told by a governor at interview that the ‘school could do with a gospel choir’. The motion sought to reinstate a National Union Official with sole responsibility for race; to continue to coordinate with other unions, organisations and academics in order to dismantle racism, islamophobia, homophobia and other forms of hate in society; and to review decisions made at Black Teachers’ and Annual Conferences to ensure that actions not yet achieved are dealt with appropriately.

The next motion was Motion 43: Securing a Future for Disabled Teachers. Delegate Catherine Scarlett gave a very moving speech about how she was treated once she became disabled – including being told to get a catheter as the disabled toilets were up two flights of stairs, and that ‘if she was a horse, she’d be taken out the back and shot’. Amongst other things, the motion seeks to promote and celebrate disabled teachers to encourage diversity, and to ensure that adequate legal support is made available to disabled members, given the complex nature of discrimination law that often applies.

The TES published a good round up of the morning here.

The agenda was then suspended in order to debate the priority motion on devolution of pay and conditions in Wales, which was carried.

The motion on workload was completed, with a commitment to publicise the Action Short of Strike Action instructions to members once again, and for officers to identify employers, including academy chains and MATs, where taking action on workload (including possible industrial action) can and should be taken.

Motion 44: Racism and Migration was heard next. The motion dealt with not only the growing issue of racism faced by our students, staff and their families, but also support for migrant children. There was lengthy debate on this motion, not least due to the large number of amendments to the main motion. However, the motion (as amended) was carried. This means a commitment to:

  • Continue to oppose the government’s plans to collect ethnicity data on pupils;
  • Continue to work with other unions and organisations to oppose racism and hatred, such as Stand up to Racism; and
  • Continue to oppose the Prevent strategy. 

There is clearly a lot more detail to the motion and amendments, which can be read from page 85 of the agenda, available here. Note that the motion was amended through amendments 44.1 and 44.3.

Motion 45: Supporting our Transgender Members and Students was next. This motion, which includes instructions to ensure that advice going out to regional offices,  divisions and associations is clear about the right to self-identify as trans, and that appropriate training is provided for reps and officers, and to ensure that trans members are supported as and were appropriate. 

We then broke away from the agenda to present the awards for Rep and Officer of the Year. Lancashire Division Secretary Sam Ud-din was named National Officer of the Year. 

“The national award for Officer of the Year is in recognition of Sam Ud-din, who, in the nomination papers, is described as “well respected” and a familiar voice on local radio. He is also commended for encouraging members to become more active in the Union.”

Congratulations also to National Rep of the Year, Sefton NUT’s Roz Morton on her award, and to Rochdale’s Niparun Nessa on being awarded the Steve Sinnott Award. It’s been a good year for members in the North West!

During the afternoon session we also heard motions on protecting the lay-led status of our union, as well as on pay. The union will seek to continue to campaign for fair pay for all teachers, and to campaign against unfair pay policies in schools and academy trusts.

We also heard motions on the disgraceful pay and conditions that supply teachers face. The agency rip off for supply teachers mean that schools pay exorbitant fees to get supply teachers in, but that money doesn’t make it to the teachers themselves. Supply members reported being paid as little as £60 per day – a completely unaffordable and unsustainable system  that requires urgent action. Unfortunately Motion 51: Supply Teacher Representation, has gone to unfinished business as we ran out of time.

Categories: Divisional News Posted: 18 Apr

#NUT17 – Day 3 by PPCO

The fourth session of #NUT17 started with a motion on sixth form funding. Delegates spoke of increased class sizes; lack of support for students, particularly around pastoral and mental health care; a reduction in the number of courses offered; and something of a mercenary approach to offering places to potential students, in that in some colleges places are only being offered to students who could be ‘guaranteed’ to pass. Sixth form funding is being impacted by mergers and academisation as well as slashed spending by the government, leading to concerns about the disappearance of colleges altogether.

Following this was Motion 35: A Curriculum For All. This motion is based on concerns about the impact of the EBacc programme in secondary schools, and the resulting restriction of the curriculum being offered to students. Not only are some students being forced into taking subjects that they have no interest in or need for, thereby restricting their options in post-16 education, but it’s leading to a narrowed curriculum where many options subjects, particularly creative subjects, are being forced out.

Next up was a motion on class sizes in special schools. As in mainstream schools, funding cuts are impacting schools and services are being cut. This is a crucial issue in special schools as specialist support for students with special educational needs is simply unable to be provided. The motion sought, amongst other things for class size limits of 12 where pupils have moderate learning difficulties, 9 where pupils have severe learning difficulties and a ratio of 3:1 students to staff in Alternate Provision.

The conference then heard from Professor Howard Stevenson. A former NUT school representative, Professor Stevenson is currently working at the School of Education at the University of Nottingham. He spoke about the government having abandoned teaching as a long-term, sustainable career, as well as the need to break down the exam factories that schools are currently acting as.

We then moved onto the first of two Primary motions, Motion 37: Primary Assessment – A Broken System. Many delegates spoke passionately about the impact that the testing regime has on students. Lancaster, Morecambe and District headteacher Siobhan Collingwood and member Jessica Christie moved and seconded amendment 37.1, and gave speeches which highlighted the mental health issues that students in primary schools face because of the summative assessments including the SATs and phonics tests.

The amended motion includes:

  • Calling on the government to immediately suspend current testing arrangements and trust teacher professional judgements;
  • Balloting leadership members to set up a boycott of the 2018 SATs;
  • Conducting an internal survey to gauge the strength of feeling with KS2 members to refuse to administer the tests; and
  • Continuing to campaign alongside parents, academics, campaign groups and other unions to end the testing regime.

Motion 38, the motion to boycott primary testing, was moved at this point but not finished. We will go back to it later in the conference.

Categories: Divisional News Posted: 18 Apr

Health & Safety – Report from Ian Watkinson, Lancashire H&S Officer by Office K

Lancashire NUT Mental Health First Aid Training – Friday & Saturday 16th/17th June

The first ever fully accredited 2-day NUT MHFA training course went tremendously well. Thanks to the hard work of the office (and Sarah and Sam!) we achieved a 100% attendance and the feedback on both the delivery and content of the course (and the venue), was very positive.

Attendees ranged from young teachers to a headteacher and all left enthused and confident that they would be able to make a difference in their own schools. Alongside comprehensive MHFA training & reference materials, our new MHFA Reps were provided with copies of our National Mental Health Charter and Lancashire’s Stress Policy and Guidance. Incorporating discussion on those into the overall training was very well received and provided MHFA Reps with a benchmark and a good starting point for discussions on preventative measures & improved staff mental health with management and colleagues in their own schools.

Feedback from attendees suggested that the free 2 day Friday/Saturday residential model worked very well and that we should stick with it. Most agreed that getting one day release from school was straightforward but that 2 days – even if not consecutive, could have been problematic. All felt that the importance of mental health and being trained to be given the opportunity to make a difference in their own schools outweighed giving up a Saturday. All really appreciated being at a ‘nice relaxing’ venue and agreed that having the evening and meal times to network and socialise with colleagues was valuable.

Encouragingly, four of the attendees expressed an interest in either becoming a H&S rep or becoming more active in the NUT. This was a key objective.

ACTION – look out for a repeat of this course at the end of September or late October.

 

 

 

 

Fire safety in schools
In light of the recent tragic events at Grenfell Tower, the NUT, ATL and FBU have written urgently to Justine Greening, asking her to confirm that the DfE will not proceed with proposals to significantly weaken fire safety measures in schools.

In Lancashire, we have asked LCC for specific details on fire safety for all Lancashire schools (including flammable cladding, insulation materials) We are awaiting a response.

The DFE have woken up and invited general secretaries of all school trade unions to a confidential meeting on Weds 5th July to discuss fire safety

As you will be aware, building owners across the public sector estate are being contacted to ensure any risks are managed and dealt with appropriately and promptly. As part of this, the Department is contacting all bodies responsible for safety in schools, FE Colleges and providers, and HE institutions, instructing them to carry out checks to identify any buildings that may require further investigation. We would like to brief you on how this process is working, and discuss with you any concerns that your members might have either about this process, or fire safety more broadly

 

Lancashire School Asbestos Issue

Having been alerted by a local Secretary last week, I have been investigating a potential asbestos exposure and asbestos management issue at a High School in Chorley. There were some concerns that contractors (and the school, and LCC) had not followed proper procedure – investigations are ongoing. More and more case studies about poor asbestos management practice are emerging from other local authorities, MATs and academies.

 

High classroom temperatures
Recent hot weather is likely to have caused excessive classroom temperatures. Please read the NUT briefing on how to tackle this problem in schools.

 

Friends of the Earth ‘Clean Air’ schools pack
Friends of the Earth have produced a ‘clean air’ pack to assist schools teach about air pollution. Download a copy from the resources section on the NUT website.

 

 

Categories: Health & Safety Posted: 11 Jul

School Cuts have an impact on the election in Fylde. by Ken

Fylde NUT members campaigned strongly before and during the election period. That campaign for increased school funding will now continue under the new hung parliament in order to try and prevent per-pupil funding continuing to fall in real terms. To help, please sign the petition here.

Nationally TES reports that a post-election survey by Survation found that 750,000 voters switched their vote because of school funding cuts. This reason came ahead of the economy or even tuition fees. The TES report is here and another TES article here said that the Conservatives had considered and then rejected protecting per-pupil funding levels in their Manifesto, but are now considering “all the options”.

Here in the Fylde, we succeeded in getting a pledge from ALL Fylde candidates. What they signed YES to is “I promise to oppose cutting per-pupil funding in real terms for schools in Fylde compared to 2015/16.” We believe that Fylde is the only constituency in the country where this has happened. However, nationally the figures were Con: 1% | LD: 45% | Green: 55% | Lab: 61% of candidates. The Labour and Green candidates even attended the public meeting we called in Kirham and Wesham as members of the audience.

Voters in Fylde, which has always been a safe Conservative seat, increased the Labour Party vote with a swing of 14.6%, one of the greatest in the UK. The Labour Manifesto promised enough funding to keep the per-pupil funding levels up in real terms. They received over 80% of the opposition votes and a record 33.4% share of the vote in Fylde, even more than during the big swing to Labour in 1997 under Tony Blair. Fylde voting details are here. We believe that the bigger impact on the election here in the Fylde compared to nationally is down to the effectiveness of our campaign. This has been reported in the Gazette here and our press release on the issue to the LSA Express  is here. For details on how the Fylde NUT campaigned for school funding during the election, scroll down to the last two posts.

Categories: Fylde Posted: 13 Jun

Vote for Education – Thursday June 8th by Ken

Thursday June 8th 2017

Location: At a polling booth near your home from 7am until 10pm

Please ensure you vote for education on June 8th.

Fylde NUT members have been busy campaigning to make school budget cuts high on the agenda in this general election. We have succeeded in getting a pledge from ALL Fylde candidates. What they signed YES to is “I promise to oppose cutting per-pupil funding in real terms for schools in Fylde compared to 2015/16.” We believe that Fylde is the only constituency in the country where this has happened. However, nationally the figures so far are Con: 1% | LD: 45% | Green: 55% | Lab: 61% of candidates.

In the last days before June 8th, we are moving the focus of our campaign to Lytham St. Annes with a new A5 flyer, click here and another press release, click here.

To continue to press all the Fylde candidates in the General Election on the issue, click here. The more emails then get the more they will realise how important this issue is.

To see more details on the cuts to your school and others, click here. The website is now updated to show the effect of party manifesto promises.

For what else you can do to help and why it is essential to do so, click here.

This continues the work done before half term in the Kirkham and Wesham area detailed below.

Categories: Fylde Posted: 05 Jun

Meeting – School Cuts in the Fylde area by Ken

Thursday 25th May 2017 in the Wesham Community Centre, Church Road, Wesham PR4 3DR

Note – since the Wesham meeting, we have issued a press release. For a press report in the Gazette click here. For the press release itself click here.

Mrs. Joanne Gould, teacher at Carr Hill and Vice President of Fylde NUT said,  “As a local resident, parent and teacher I am deeply concerned about the level and impact of the cuts to education both nationally and across the Fylde. These cuts will impact the resources and staffing available in our schools, and will impact all of our school age children. To hear more about how these cuts could potentially impact on our schools, please attend the meeting.

Parents should be assured that we, as a profession, will continue to do our very best for your children, whatever. However, please help us to give your children the education that they deserve.”

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For an advertisement for the meeting which is being delivered to all local homes in the Kirkham and Wesham area, please click here. Note that the cuts in funding for each school are given in the advert. Some schools will end up worse off than others, but all of our schools will suffer cuts.

For the letter we sent to all Fylde schools on the issue, click here.

For both sides of the A5 flyer for the meeting, click here.

To press all the Fylde candidates in the General Election on the issue, click here.

To see more details on the cuts to your school and others, click here.

For the press release we have issued locally, click here.  For the resulting report, click here. We were also the headlines in the local Lytham St. Annes Express. For the front page click here and it continues here.

And take a look here at what parents and teachers in Lancaster were up to on May 13th over school funding!

Finally, for what else you can do to help and why it is essential to do so, click here.

We have been busy leafleting parents outside primary schools and at a stall in the centre of the town.

Categories: Fylde Posted: 19 May

Senior Leadership Training by PPCO

Staying on the Right Side of the Law 

An in-depth look at key procedures and how to implement them effectively.

Capability, Redundancy, Disciplinary, Complaints & Grievance

Aims:

  • To develop knowledge of important procedures
  • To increase skill and confidence in applying these procedures
  • To aid understanding of how to approach HR issues

The training will take place on Friday 16 June, 9.30am – 3.30pm at Eanam Wharf in Blackburn. The training is £40 for NUT members and £80 for non-members.

Click here for more details, including the booking form.

 

Mental Health First Aid Training

What is mental health and mental ill health?

  • Stigma and discrimination
  • The five steps of Mental Health First Aid
  • How to spot symptoms of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and psychosis
  • Suicide
  • Self-harm
  • Non-judgemental listening skills

The training will take place on Thursday 06 July, 9.30am – 3.30pm at Eanam Wharf in Blackburn. The training is £40 for NUT members and £80 for non-members.

Click here for more details, including the booking form.

Categories: Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Posted: 13 May

Blackpool Deserves Better by Ken

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Trades Union Council (BFWTUC) has organised a major Conference in the Savoy Hotel Blackpool called, “BLACKPOOL DESERVES BETTER”. Fylde NUT is affiliated to the Trades Council and is in full support of what they are trying to achieve, a much better deal for the people of Blackpool and the Fylde and Wyre areas. It runs from 10am until 4pm on Saturday 13th May 2017 and is free to attend.

  1. Click here for the reasons why BFWTUC organised this Conference.
  2. Click here for the full agenda on the day.
  3. Click here for the Poster and Pledge unions and campaign groups are being asked to sign up to.
  4. Click here for the Media Release, which provides a good explanation of what is happening on the day and why the Conference has been organised in the way it has.
  5. Click here for more information on the major national and local speakers involved on the day.

Fylde NUT believes that if teachers are to stand a chance of winning their struggles, we need to be embedded in similar struggles by others. Therefore we are helping to organise this event and urge you to support it.

Categories: Fylde Posted: 11 May

West-Lancs Update by West Lancs

Many thanks to all who attended our AGM on the 2nd March especially our Treasurer, Jenni Harker, for her continued hard work plus our newest school rep, Paul Christopherson from Ormskirk School. Andy Heyes was installed as President and I am continuing as Secretary for another year.

Easter Conference in Cardiff – Paul Christopherson kindly stepped in at short notice to represent the association this year. He attended as an observer and will provide a short report as soon as possible.

Postcards to local MPs regarding Fair Funding for schools are being circulated around our larger schools where possible. If you would like any to distribute amongst members and non-members then please email me: secretary@west-lancashire.nut.org.uk and I’ll get some to you. I’ll even post them for you when they’re done.

Voluntary Redundancies – Government cutbacks are leading to many schools starting this process or look at serious restructuring for next year. Please email me if your school is affected so advice and support can be offered asap.

Next meeting: Our final meeting of the year will be post election so there’ll be lots to discuss. All members are welcome for a free meal/refreshments on Tuesday 27th June at The Sandpiper, Bickerstaffe (4.30 pm).

Chris Anderson 07841 947635

Categories: West Lancashire Posted: 27 Apr

Fylde Committee Meeting – 21st March by Fylde

On Tuesday 21st March at 4.30pm Fylde Association will be hosting their most recent meeting at the Pear Tree School in Kirkham.   Please feel free to attend as all members are welcome.

We will be discussing a number of topics that may affect you.

Categories: Fylde Posted: 13 Mar