#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 The specific wording of both the main motion and amendment 38.1 (amendment 38.2 was withdrawn) caused some contention amongst delegates, particularly given the successful completion of Motion 37 (Primary Assessment: A Broken System).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.
#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
She is also quoted in this BBC News article about the impact of SATS in primary schools and why they need to be ended immediately.Categories: Divisional News Posted: 17 Apr
#NUT17 – Day 2 by PPCO
The first full day of #NUT17 kicked off with the Presidential Address by new President Louise Regan. Louise spoke at length about recent campaigns that the NUT have led on and won, including the ‘too young to test’ campaign and the more recent work on funding cuts.
This led neatly into the first policy-based motion of the day, Motion 12: Education Funding and Cuts in Education Provision. The funding cuts are impacting students and staff in all sectors of education, and the NUT has been campaigning for some years now on improving the situation. The School Cuts website is a hugely useful tool – use it to find out how cuts are impacting individual schools.
The motion and corresponding amendments instructs the Executive to continue to campaign and publicise the impact that the cuts have on schools, to work with politicians to help reverse the damaging cuts, to produce new guidelines on things like class sizes, and also includes provision for potential strike action.
Lancashire Division Secretary Sam Ud-din and Lancaster, Morecambe and District member Siobhan Collingwood both spoke passionately about the issue in moving and seconding amendment 12.3, which sought to provide specific support for nursery and early years settings.
All amendments were carried, as was the main motion. Lancashire NUT will now look to build on the campaign across our division – keep an eye out for news on when and how you can take part.
The next motion was Motion 13: Mental Health and Wellbeing of Students in Exam Factories. Teachers in all settings are supporting students whose mental health is suffering thanks to the pressure of the constant testing regime. This motion seeks to continue to campaign for a review of testing, ensure adequate funding for supporting students with mental health issues, and to end the use of league tables. The motion was passed unanimously.
One of the more contentious motions heard was Motion 16: Political Campaigning and Strategy. With the introduction of the Trade Union Act and the forthcoming changes as we begin the merger with the ATL, the motion sought to clarify how we move forward with political campaigning. The final paragraph of the motion sought to have the union consider affiliating with the Labour Party. Amendment 16.1 altered this to include working with parties including Labour, but without affiliation, continuing with the NUT’s long-held stance on not being affiliated with any political party. Given how close the initial vote on this amendment was, the digi-vote system was employed. The amendment was carried with an incredibly close result – 50.63% for, and 49.37% against. The main motion was then carried as amended, and the NUT will continue to work with and seek support from all political parties.
Saturday also saw the priority motion on Expanding Selective Education: The Government’s Wrong Priorities heard. The NUT is strongly against selective education, and this motion instructs the union to take all manner of action to fight against the introduction of new grammar schools. The union will continue to build a joint campaign with other unions, parents, researchers etc in order to help develop alternative policy proposals and strategies that support the social justice for all students.
Finally, congratulations to Niparun Nessa of Rochdale and Oldham who has been awarded the Steve Sinnott Foundation Award for her International Solidarity Work.Categories: Divisional News Posted: 16 Apr
#NUT17 – Day 1 by PPCO
The 2017 Annual Conference opened yesterday evening. It was a short session, starting with the installation of new NUT President Louise Regan, and a vote of thanks to out-going President Anne Swift.
This was followed by a number of speeches by some of the invited guests. First up was 16 year old Jack Petchey Award winner Leanne Mohamad. Her award winning speech was on the topic of Palestine, and resulted in a barrage of hatred and bullying towards both her and her school. She spoke passionately about why reactions such as these will fuel, not silence her, and why it’s important that people continue to speak up loudly and proudly. Following Leanne was Global Teacher Prize winner Hanan Al Hroub, who spoke about investment in education being an investment in hope.
Next up was Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. After passing on a message from Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, John spoke at length about the issues of cuts to school funding and the problems of selective education.
Former NUT General Secretary Fred Jarvis – speaking at his 62nd conference! – gave a short speech about the success of the professional unity campaign and the formation of the new union, the National Education Union (NEU). Professional unity is something that Fred campaigned for tirelessly over many years, and will continue to do so for years to come.
Our final guest speaker was ATL General Secretary Mary Bousted. Bringing a message of fraternal solidarity from the ATL following their conference earlier this week, Mary spoke at length about the positive move forward towards the NEU and the excellent work already being done together by our two unions, such as the School Cuts campaign.
The session wrapped up with Honorary Membership of the Union being awarded to former General Secretary Christine Blower.
Categories: Divisional News Posted: 15 Apr
Today, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) announced that members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining to form a new union. The union will be called the National Education Union.
The National Education Union will come into existence on 1 September 2017 with over 450,000 members, representing the majority of teachers and providing a powerful voice for the whole education profession, including support staff, lecturers and leaders working in state-funded and independent schools and colleges. It will be the fourth largest trade union in the UK and the biggest union of teachers and education professionals in Europe.
Mary Bousted, General Secretary, ATL said: “This is an historic moment. I am delighted that both ATL and NUT members have voted to come together to form the National Education Union. With nearly half a million members, we will speak with a stronger voice on behalf of education professionals and the children, young people and adults they support. The Government will need to listen when we speak on the key issues facing education – funding cuts, excessive workloads, the recruitment and retention crisis, the chaotic exam reform, and accountability.
“The new union will combine ATL’s diversity of members, training and policy expertise with the NUT’s lobbying and effective local activity. It will be the largest union in most schools, bringing together everyone in their workplaces – teachers, lecturers, support staff, heads and managers – and empowering them to share their expertise and improve their working lives.”
Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT said: This is a fantastic result for members of both unions and for education. For too long Governments, have played divide and rule amongst education unions. Today marks the beginning of the end of that. The NUT and ATL both have proud histories, but speaking with one voice we will be a stronger force standing up for education, teachers the wider education profession and for the children and young people we teach. The National Education Union will be a game changer in the education landscape and I am delighted to be jointly leading it forward over the coming months and years.
Click here to see the ballot turnout and details of the results.Categories: Divisional News Posted: 22 Mar
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: email@example.com 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 947635West Lancashire Posted: 27 Apr
LSA 6th form closure! by PaulJ
It is with sadness that we post that the Local Authority have announced the confirmation of the closure of the 6th Form at LSA in Lytham.
Categories: Fylde Posted: 13 Mar
Fylde Committee Meeting – 21st March by PaulJ
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
The Burnley Executive meeting will be held at Sir John Thursby Community College, Eastern Avenue, Burnley, BB10 2AT. 4.30 pm and refreshments provided.Categories: Burnley District Posted: 09 Mar
AGM – In with the Old and the New by PaulJ
Fylde NUT held their AGM at the Town House in St Annes on Wednesday 8th February. Ken Cridland was voted in as President for a second term, 30 years after his first. We also welcome Joanne Gould, from Carr Hill, as Vice President. Thanks to Craig Jack (LSA) for his two year tenure as President.Categories: Fylde Posted: 09 Feb
We held our AGM on 7th February 2017. The Secretary’s report on our activities and campaigns during 2016 is below. We elected our new officers for 2017. Sam Ud-din and Sue Penney are our new joint Secretaries, Linda Pye is Assistant Secretary, and Jess Christie is our new President.
Thank you to all our members who attended our Annual General Meeting on 26th January. Our next General Meeting will be on Thursday 25th May at 6 p.m. at Whitefield Primary School, Oaklands Drive, Penwortham. We will have a meal at the Fleece Inn, Liverpool Road, Penwortham after the meeting. All South Ribble NUT members are welcome.Categories: South Ribble Posted: 09 Feb
Burnley Association AGM 7th March 2017 by Burnley
The Burnley Annual General Meeting will be held at Sir John Thursby Community College, Eastern Avenue, Burnley, BB10 2AT. 4.30pm. Refreshments provided.Categories: Burnley District Posted: 09 Feb
Wyre AGM by PPCO
The Wyre Association AGM will be held on Thursday 09 February, 2017 at Shakespeare Primary School, Manor Rd, Fleetwood, FY7 7LL. The meeting commences at 5pm and will be followed by a meal at The Trafalgar Restaurant, Fleetwood.
West Lancashire AGM by PPCO
The West Lancashire Association AGM will be held on Thursday 02 March, 2017, at 4.30pm at The Sandpiper, Bickerstaffe (Holly Farm Ormskirk Old Road, Bickerstaffe, Ormskirk, Lancashire,L39 0HD).