Category Archive: Divisional News

  1. #NUT18 – Day 5

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    The final day of #NUT18 kicked off with Motion 55: School Ratings Websites, which was amended by 55.1 and then carried. This was followed by  Motion 56: Building Unity Towards a Single Education Union, which seeks to further the professional unity that we already have with the NEU and continue to strengthen the position of teachers across the country. Motion 57: Young Teachers’ Place in the National Education Union was next, followed by Motion 58: Organising for the Future – Supporting Young Teachers in the NEU. This was amended by 58.1 before being carried.

    We then went back to Motion 48: Boycott High Stakes, Summative Testing in Primary Schools, which was amended by 48.1 before being carried. 

    Photo credit: Dawn Taylor

    Next up was the Steve Sinnott Award, which was this year awarded to Julia Simpkins of Bolton.She has been nominated for her work in Palestine, developing relations with the UNRWA School at Nablus Askar camp. She has also been very active in promoting international solidarity events for International Women’s Day, Holocaust Memorial Day, as well as regular Love Music Hate Racism events. 

    The International Section was next, starting with Motion 59: Resistance in Latin America, which was amended by 59.1 before being passed. Motion 60: Global Education and the Education of Girls in Developing Countries was then moved but unfinished.

    We went into unfinished business then, back to Motion 29: Greater London Pay. This was amended and carried. Motion 24: Support for Rural Schools was also amended and carried. The final motion of conference was Motion 51: Supply Teacher Executive Seat. There was heated debate once again on this motion and amendment 51.1 was lost before the main motion was still unfinished due to time.

    One of the final items at the last ever NUT conference was a short film about the history of the National Union of Teachers.

    Motion 61: Adoption of the Annual Report of the Executive was passed, and then Joint General Secretary of the NEU Kevin Courtney addressed conference. You can view his full speech below.

    That wrapped up the final NUT conference and another busy five days. Campaigning is already being planned across Lancashire – there are a variety of events that you can support. Contact your local Association Secretary to find out more.

  2. #NUT18 Day 4

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    Monday morning of conference started with a priority motion on pay in Wales, which was amended and carried unanimously. Following this was Motion 14: Excessive CEO Pay in Academies, which carried unanimously, and then Motion 15: Speak Up For Libraries, which was largely carried. Motion 16: Job Sharing of Executive Posts was started but moved to unfinished business.

    Following this was a tribute to Mary Compton, past NUT President and long time activist. Mary died earlier this year. Read the obituary, written by NUT Treasurer Ian Murch, here.

    Conference then moved into the Education: Secondary section, with Motion 45: Secondary Curriculum and Assessment, which was carried unanimously. Next was the Education: Special Educational Needs and Disability Section, with Motion 46: Special Education and Inclusive Education being moved and amended by 46.1 and 46.2, but eventually falling into unfinished business due to running out of time for the section.

    We returned to Education: General and Motion 22: A Child-Centred Curriculum and Pedagogy. This motion was debated at length, and amended by 22.1, 22.2 and 22.3 before eventually being carried. The final motion for the session was Motion 23, which was about using data to set targets and for holding staff to account through performance management. This was amended by 23.1 before being carried.

    The afternoon session began with Motion 47: Baseline Testing. Having been amended by 47.1 and 47.2, it further commits the NUT Section of the NEU to opposing the baseline tests using a range of strategies. Motion 48: Boycott High Stakes, Summative Testing in Primary was started but unfinished.

    Motion 34: Supply Teachers Employment was hotly debated, with amendment 34.1 falling before the main motion was carried. Motion 35: Workload – a key part of ongoing NUT Section and NEU campaigns – was amended by 35.1 and 35.2 before being carried unanimously. There is a lot of detail to this motion and amendment. You can read it here, starting at page 63.

    Motion 49, the adoption of the resource management section of the annual report, was accepted and then it was Motion 50: The Role of Retired Teachers in the NEU. This was another strongly debated motion and amendment, given the importance of retired teachers in supporting our members and officers. Ultimately amendment 50.1 was lost, whilst the main motion was carried.

    Motion 51: Supply Teachers Executive Seat was moved and then sent to unfinished business.

    A special presentation was then made to Hank Roberts from Brent, who has worked tirelessly to move the NUT towards professional unity and the NEU. 

    Motion 52: the organising and membership section of the annual report was adopted, and was followed by Motion 53: Building the NEU at the Workplace. This was carried, amended by 53.1. The last motion of the day was Motion 54: A Lay Led Union. This was amended by 54.1 before being carried. 

    These sessions have given good guidance for campaign work to follow – keep an eye out for details of street stalls and other events across Lancashire over the coming weeks.

  3. #NUT18 Fringe Report

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    Kiri Tunks, new NEU NUT Section President, spoke of ongoing, still ‘normalised’ sexism in schools that needs to be challenged – see guidance in the report ”It’s Just Banter”. 

    Speakers from Northern Ireland told us movingly about the campaign, as a Trade Union and Workplace Issue, to support female members and work against Amendment 8, which restricts abortion rights – to the point of making abortion illegal and subject to up to life imprisonment. There was recognition of parallel issues in the  position in England around women’s reproductive issues generally – and those of us who undertaken casework supporting 50+year old women will know that these are workplace issues here too.

    The campaign “No More Page Three” and its success was described. So too was the work that still needs to be done to improve the status of women, by giving much more due recognition of all their real accomplishments, rather than the still too common objectification seen, for example, in some print media.

    Muslim schoolgirls from Bristol described their “Grl2Grl” campaign and support group, already international, to empower all young women.

    The “Women’s Lives Matter” support group in South Yorkshire described the work they have done helping women facing violence. The impact of the neo-liberal austerity agenda on support services for women was graphically shared – as too the hope that a Corbyn- government as a necessary remedy!

  4. South Ribble and Preston Retired Teachers

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    The following meeting dates and venues have been arranged:

    1.   Guild Merchant, Preston 22nd May 2018 at 4.15 to 6pm.
    2.   The Fleece, Penwortham 6th November 2018 4.15 to 6pm. 
    3.   Christmas Dinner Haighton Manor 11th December 2018 at 7.15 pm
    4.   AGM The Continental Preston 22nd January 2019 4.15 to 6pm.

    Please contact Pat Probin for further details.

  5. #NUT18 – Day 3

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    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.

     

  6. #NUT18 – Day 2

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    Day two started with the President’s address. New NUT Section President Kiri Tunks spoke about her journey into teaching and trade unionism, and how schools need to be at the centre of driving out inequalities in society. 

    Following the President’s address, conference business got underway with a motion to suspend standing orders in order to debate a priority motion on Ofsted statements about the hijab. This motion was passed, with the priority motion to be heard on Sunday morning.

    Next up were several reports, including the Conference Business Committee report and Annual Report of the Executive, and then it was onto Motion 11: Academies, MATs, Re-broker, Rebrand or Renationalise. This motion calls for public inquiries into academy chain finances, tightening up of rules over academy spending, for failing academies to be brought back into local authority control and for Labour to be lobbied to back these demands. Several amendments to this motion were also carried, which strengthened the motion to include committing the NEU to supporting the recreation of a single state education system. 

    Motion 12: School Funding was heard next, which again was amended to strengthen the motion. This motion calls for a continuation of the work on Fair Funding for Schools, to continue to build action across communities to collectively challenge cuts to school funding and to continue to challenge PFI schemes and to publicise just how much money schools continue to lose from existing PFI deals.

    Motion 13: The Housing Crisis was heard and carried, and Motion 14: Excessive CEO Pay in Academies was moved but then unfinished due to a lack of time.

    We finished the morning session with the Blair Peach Award. This year it has been awarded to Lorraine Hunte of Croydon NUT, for her long term work in fighting racism. You can read more about the award and Lorraine’s work here.

    The afternoon session started with a speech from ATL Section and NEU Joint General Secretary Mary Bousted. Mary spoke about workload and how we are stronger when working together.

     

    Motion 19 was the adoption of the Education and Equality Section of the Annual Report of the Executive, and then it was on to Motion 20: Crisis in Young People’s Mental Health. This important motion calls for ensuring that the union’s workload campaign has a focus on the effects of high stakes testing on students’ mental health; joint lobbying with the health unions; renewing the campaign to end SATs; and opposing the narrowing of the curriculum. The two amendments which were passed added to the main motion, calling for the government to fund mental health first aiders and to oppose punitive behaviour management systems in schools. 

    Motion 21: A National Education Service was passed unamended, and then Elaine Bennett from More Than A Score addressed conference on the need to put play and creativity, observation and all round learning at heart of early years.

    Following on from Elaine was Motion 27, the Salaries, Superannuation, Employment Conditions and Rights Section Report, followed by Motion 28: Fair Pay for Teachers. This is a lengthy motion that, as amended, calls for joint action with other teaching and support staff unions to secure pay rises for school staff, to campaign on pay and to be prepared to ballot members over the 5% pay increase demanded of the STRB. 

    Motion 29: Greater London Pay was unfinished, and we finished the public session of conference with the presentations for Rep and Officer of the Year. Details of Rep of the Year, Kate Taylor from Birmingham NUT and Officer of the Year, Paul Welch from Durham Division, are available here

  7. #NUT18 – Day 1

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    Yesterday saw the beginning of the final NUT Section Annual Conference, with the first NEU conference taking place next year. Always a short session, the first motion was to agree the minutes of #NUT17, before the new national president, Kiri Tunks, was installed and a vote of thanks was given for out-going president Louise Regan. 

    We then heard from a variety of special guests to conference. First up was a video message from General Union of Palestinian Teachers General Secretary Saed Erziqat, which was followed by a speech from Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary General Wilson Sossion. Following on from Wilson was Joanna De Groot, president of UCU, who talked about their on-going industrial action taking place across the UK.

    Next up were moving speeches from Sirazul & Nijam U Mohammad, Rohingya students who told us about the very real struggles that they have endured, not just for their education but for their very survival. 

    Lastly was a message from Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Angela Rayner. 

    We then accepted a series of reports before the final guest speaker of the session, children’s author Michael Rosen, a long-time supporter of the NUT.

    We have a very busy few days ahead, with a lot of business to get through. Check back daily for more updates.

     

     

  8. Press release: support for members campaigning over cuts to education

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    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