#NUT18 – Day 3 by Sarah Bedwell

The Sunday morning session of #NUT18 started with the priority motion on Ofsted statements about the hijab. This follows comments made by Amanda Spielman about young girls wearing the hijab. There were a number of impassioned speeches by delegates condemning these comments and speaking in favour of the right of young girls to have the religious freedom to wear what they like – whether it’s a hijab or a cross. The motion was passed unanimously. You can see some of the speeches here.

Following the priority motion was Motion 34: Supply Teachers Employment. Whilst this motion was moved, as was the amendment, it has not been finished as yet due to running out of time. 

We then moved into the Equality Conferences Section, with Motion 39: Support and Promotion of Disabled Education Staff and Disability Equality, which was carried. Motion 40: Tackling Racism was another passionately debated motion, with several speeches focusing on the ‘punish a Muslim’ letter that has circulated around the country and what schools can do to continue to combat racist ideas and actions.

Motion 41: Uniting the Fight for LGBT+ Liberation with the Fight Against Islamophobia was next, and then we went into the Equalities Section with Motion 42: Sexism and Harassment in Schools. The union has done a lot of work on this topic, including the “It’s Just Everywhere” study – the booklet and other resources are available on the union’s website. Amongst other things, the motion calls on the union to lobby the government to make it statutory for all schools to take a whole school approach to challenging and recording sexism and sexual harassment, produce guidance for teachers and campaign for training for staff, and to ensure that training on recognising and dealing with sexism and sexual harassment is included in ITT programmes.

Motion 43: Racism and Migration, amended by 43.1 and 43.2, was carried and instructs the Executive to continue to support organisations including Show Racism the Red Card, Stand Up to Racism, Love Music Hate Racism and Hope and Hate. 

The final motion for the session was Motion 44: Education and Social Justice, which was moved but not finished.

A reminder that the agenda, with all of the motions and amendments, is available online.