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November 02, 2018 | 18-033E



Hands Up, Because Enough’s Enough – Simultaneous members consultation to begin soon

In his Budget this week, Chancellor Philip Hammond comprehensively failed the 6 tests we set for him on school funding.

The £400m in capital funding for schools to pay for the “little extras they need” was a derisory gesture from a Government hopelessly out of touch with the reality in our schools. It is a drop in the ocean compared to the £2.5bn lost from school budgets since 2015 and all the signs suggest the cuts will continue.

Enough is enough.

We are working closely with colleagues from ASCL and NAHT to ramp up our campaign for proper funding for our schools and colleges. We have agreed that our 3 unions will simultaneously consult all our members – in the NEU through an indicative ballot – on what steps heads and teachers in schools and sixth form colleges are prepared to take to convince this Government to change course.

We plan to start this consultation in the week ending 16 November, so we need you, our experienced local officers, to help get the message out to members and reps in your area and encourage the biggest possible turnout.

Colleagues in regional offices will be running briefings for local officers – please contact your regional office if you don’t already have details. Materials will then be available for you to host rep briefings in your association: we would urge you to book these now if you haven’t already done so, or turn your next association meeting into a briefing. We will shortly be mailing out further details, including indicative ballot FAQs. In the meantime please visit neu.org.uk/hands-up for updates.

A press release will appear here at 0001hrs Monday, announcing the simultaneous surveying of members in ASCL, NAHT and NEU on next steps for the campaign.  The germane information is covered in the paragraphs above, and is again subject to the embargo of 0001 Monday to ensure impact in the press.

We have a huge opportunity to unite as a profession to fight for the funding our schools need. But to do this we must secure a strong turnout and yes vote which will send a clear message to Government. Thank you in advance for your support.


District Rules

Once you have agreed your draft District Rules, please send them to JECAdmin@neu.org.uk. Thanks to those of you who have already done so.

NEU Leadership – School leaders and college managers within the NEU

The NEU leadership section ‘NEU Leadership’ will retain members in the Union as they progress into leadership and management roles in schools and colleges. NUT members in leadership posts and current AMiE members will transfer to the NEU leadership section on 1 January 2019. For NUT members this will mean an increase in their annual subscription. The Union will be contacting this group of members separately to inform them of this change. The Union’s subscription rates are available here.

Membership of NEU Leadership will apply to those who are:

·       Headteacher/Principal

·       Deputy Headteacher/Vice Principal

·       Head of Centre/School/College (Post 16)

·       Assistant Headteacher/Assistant Principal

·       CEO/Executive Head/Leader of MAT

·       Director/Assistant Director of Education

·       Business Manager/Bursar/FE Manager/FE Finance Manager

For details of the NEU leadership offer please read more here. [please log in before clicking on the link].


Please find below details of forthcoming action*. You are encouraged to send messages of solidarity to the email addresses below:

Action Date Contact
The John Roan School / Greenwich

(Transfer of employer)

Wednesday 7 November tim.woodcock@neu.org.uk
Langdale Free School / Blackpool Wednesday 7 November amanda.baines@neu.org.uk

* Details of strike dates are correct at the time of writing so will not include any details of suspended action received after that time.


Refugee Week 2019

Please include the following in your bulletins/newsletters to members/reps.

Has your school put Refugee Week into the calendar for 2018/19 yet? It takes place from 17-23 June next year and the NEU is once again the only education union supporting it. We are planning some exciting activities for schools to get involved in and resources they can use. More information to follow in the new year.

Blair Peach Award – 2019

Do you know a Union member who is making a positive difference to equality and diversity in their school or Union branch in your area? Why not nominate them for the prestigious Blair Peach Award? Download a nomination form here or email equality@neu.org.uk . The closing date for nominations is 18 December 2018.


Latest edition of Global Matters now available

The newest edition of Global Matters is now available on the NEU-NUT Section website. This edition includes stories about Cuba, Palestine, Iran and the US, as well as opportunities for you to take action in defence of human and trade union rights across the globe. Updates on the Send My Friend to School Campaign, communications, events and trainings are all included as well. Download the publication here.


Latin America 2018 – Adelante!

9.15-18.00, 1 December 2018
Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell St, Fitzrovia, London WC1B 3LW

The Trump Presidency has overseen a worrying rise in US interventions in Latin America, with the blockade of Cuba being tightened, sanctions threatened on Nicaragua, and Trump pushing for military intervention in Venezuela. But the resurgent right-wing in Latin America is facing resistance, with the Left winning the Mexican election, and trade unionists and popular movements mobilising to defend social progress across the region. Come along to hear eyewitness accounts and get involved in standing up to Trump’s interventions in Latin America. Click here to register.


The week was dominated by the Chancellor’s Budget speech. His crass remarks about granting £400m to schools for “little extras” met with anger and ridicule, made worse the following day with his claim that it had been a “nice gesture” to do so. The NEU was quoted widely, including the Daily Mirror, Schools Week, Politics Home, Education Executive, Public Finance, LBC, Huffington Post, TES, the Times, Children & Young People Now, and the Guardian. Our full comment is here.

Too late for last week’s bulletin was Mary’s appearance on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme, where she discussed bursaries. This was off the back of a story which showed the numbers of trainees who do not go on to teaching jobs. You can listen to the interview here for a week.

There was further reporting this week of the Raise the Rate campaign for sixth form funding (Education Executive), and we contributed to a TES story about behaviour management, as well as responding to the new IFS report which shows how the gap between rich and poor in education has shifted in recent years (Schools Week, the Independent, and Press Association – our full comment is here).

Mary’s latest blog for TES dealt with SEND issues. Please read and share.

Yours sincerely

Kevin CourtneyJoint General Secretary


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Latest NEU news : October 2018-with links to actions and further info.

October 26, 2018 | 18-032E



Parents, schools and councillors unite against SEND funding cuts

On Tuesday 23 October the School Cuts coalition delivered a petition signed by more than 34,000 people to the Department for Education (DfE), demanding more funding for children and young people with SEND in schools. The hand in was live streamed to supporters on Facebook Live and covered widely on social media and in the local press. Watch the live stream footage (skip to 22:00 mins to see the DfE send out an official to collect the petition).

We were joined on the day by more than 60 people, including representatives from the NEU, ASCL, NAHT and Unison, as well as a number of SEND parent groups and teacher activists. Several local councillors joined us at the event to highlight the pressure local authorities face through cuts to their local services for children with SEND, and marched with us under banners displaying the message “parents, schools and councillors united against the #SENDcrisis”.

Before the petition was delivered, School Cuts hosted a well-attended briefing where speakers from the unions addressed the crowd, including NEU joint general secretary Mary Bousted, ASCL general secretary Geoff Barton, Unison head of education Jon Richards, and former NAHT president Anne Lyons, demanding a fair deal for our SEND children. We were also joined by Labour MPs Mike Kane, Emma Hardy and James Frith, as well as education spokesperson for the Green Party, Vix Lowthion, who gave rousing speeches about the importance of providing a good education for all.

The fight for fair SEND funding isn’t over now the petition has been delivered. With the early announcement of the budget on Monday, the NEU, NAHT and ASCL have jointly set six tests for the Chancellor that we hope the budget will pass.

Share the joint union six tests on Twitter and Facebook to spread the word and to hold the Chancellor to account.

We are encouraging supporters to email their MPs before the Budget on the 29 October, asking them to pledge to support the school cuts six tests for the Budget.  You can email your MP in less than 30 seconds.


Please find below details of forthcoming action*. You are encouraged to send messages of solidarity to the email addresses below:

Action Date Contact
Abbey Primary Community School / Leicester

(Unacceptable Management Practises)

Wednesday 31 October

Thursday 1 November

Jenny Day

Assistant Association Secretary


* Details of strike dates are correct at the time of writing so will not include any details of suspended action received after that time.


Privatisation Update

This month’s Privatisation Update provides all the latest news on academies, free schools and privatisation. This month’s stories include:

  • The National Education Union has welcomed the Labour Party’s plans to reverse the free market reforms of education introduced under the Coalition and Conservative Governments.
  • Over two-thirds of the largest academy trusts have schools that use some form of isolation for their pupils – including for children aged just five and six.
  • 44 free school projects were cancelled before they even opened between 2013-14 and 2016-17, at a cost to the taxpayer of £8.7 million. They include two London primaries that were proposed by a trust founded by the health minister Lord James O’Shaughnessy.

Forced academisation, an ‘abomination’, argues Warwick Mansell

In his latest blog, Warwick Mansell argues that forced academisation, which has cost huge sums of taxpayers’ money, rests on a non-existent evidence base and is triggered by snapshot Ofsted reports which do not seem robust enough to support the weight being placed on them. He concludes that forced academisation, “is an abomination. It needs to go”.

Local officers survey – role of retired members, Autumn Term 2018

In response to the Retired Teachers Motion passed at the NEU – NUT Section 2018 Annual Conference, we are asking local officers to please fill in our survey by 9am on Monday 5 November.

Your answers to the survey will help inform the NEU on the important contribution Retired Teachers make to our Union.”

Information on LA pay decisions

We are still seeking information on local authority advice to schools on the application of the teacher pay award – click here to supply new data or to update existing information. If providing an update, please put ‘UPDATE’ after your name.

Information on MAT pay decisions

We are also seeking information on pay decisions by multi-academy trusts. With the majority of teachers now employed by MATs it’s really important that we have this data. If you are the NEU negotiator for a MAT, please click here to enter the information. (You need not do so where there is an NEU staff negotiator for the MAT as they have already been asked to do this).

Tell the DfE your views on the new relationships and sex education (RSE) guidance

The Government is consulting on their new relationships and sex education guidance.  We need you to respond and tell the DfE your views. We are concerned that the current guidance is not strong enough and that children will miss out on vital information to stay safe. The NEU have written a blog and guidance for how to respond to the consultation.  Please let us know if you are intending to respond by emailing equality@neu.org.uk

Day of Action Against Disability Discrimination – Wednesday 21 November 2018

There are over 2 million students with disabilities attending nursery, school, colleges and universities in England and at least 150,000 Disabled Education Staff (15%). The promise of the Equality Act to promote disability equality and protect from disability discrimination, provide reasonable adjustments and access are increasingly being ignored throughout the education system. More information and how staff, student and parents can contribute is available here.

NUT section merchandise shop

Please note that the merchandise shop will close from 31 October 2018 to allow for the launch of the NEU merchandise shop in January 2019. Prior to 31 October, you can order merchandise here.

NEU representative of the year and NEU officer of the year

Nominations are now open for the 2018/19 awards, which recognise the contributions made by NEU representatives and local officers, especially over the last 12 months, and help identify and share good practice. The awards are open to NEU reps and officers (NEU, ATL, and NUT) and members from every part of the union can nominate. The online nomination form can be completed here. The closing date for nominations is 7 December 2018.

Please contact recruit@neu.org.uk if you have any queries.

Blair Peach Award

Do you know a Union member who is making a positive difference to equality and diversity in their school or Union branch in your area? Why not nominate them for the prestigious Blair Peach Award?

The Blair Peach Award is given to an NEU member who has made an exemplary contribution to their school or Union branch’s work in any area of equality and diversity. The award is named after Blair Peach, past president of East London NUT, who was murdered during an anti-racist demonstration in London in April 1979.

How do I nominate someone?

Click here or email equality@neu.org.uk for a nomination form and return it by the closing date of 18th December 2018.  The award will be presented at the NEU Annual Conference 2019.


Job references and data protection

There has been an important and unhelpful change to the rights of data subjects and job references.

The previous Data Protection Act 1998 entitled a referee to refuse disclosure but did not extend that entitlement to the recipient. Unhelpfully, however, the Data Protection Act 2018 provides an exemption from disclosure of confidential references for both the employer supplying the reference and the prospective employer receiving it.

Therefore, both employers may refuse a disclosure request. We should continue to advise members seeking the disclosure of their job references to make a subject access request either to the referee or to the recipient, or to both. However, they should be warned that neither are obliged to acquiesce. Furthermore, where an access request is denied, members should be advised to ask (in writing) for the reasons why their request was denied. A complaint may be made to the ICO if no response is forthcoming, or the response implies the employer is operating a blanket policy.

It is good practice to share the content of references with employees before sending them. If you have not already done so, you are encouraged to negotiate this good practice with employers in your area. In the meantime, the NEU guidance on references is being updated on the legacy website to reflect this unhelpful change in the law


Nominations open for Steve Sinnott International Solidarity Award

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Steve Sinnott International Solidarity Award, which recognises members who have made exemplary contributions to the Union’s work on international solidarity. Members from both the ATL and NUT Section are eligible for the Award and the deadline for submissions is 18 Dec 2018. Click here for more information and to download a nomination form.

Union joins call to protect education in Palestine

The Joint General Secretaries joined other education unions and Friends of Birzeit University (FOBZU) in calling on the UK Government to stand up for higher education in Palestine. The letter urges the Government to step up protection for the right to education in the oPt following a crackdown on freedom of movement for educators. Read the letter here.

Unicef UK’s OutRight Project

Unicef UK is calling all teachers to join OutRight and empower children and young people to stand up for their right to health and to live in a clean environment. The free resource packs will allow your students to learn about air pollution while having fun campaigning to make a difference. Sign up here.


New speakers confirmed – Reclaiming Education Annual Conference

Saturday 10 November, 10:30am to 3:30pm

Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD

In addition to Diane Reay, Professor of Education at Cambridge University and myself, the following speakers have been confirmed:

Madeline Holt, Rescue our Schools

John Hayes, Camden Headteacher

Jayne Grant, former Deputy Head Inclusion

Emma Murray, Haringey Headteacher

Richard Reiser, Inclusion Campaigner

Book your place here.

NEU-NUT Section International Solidarity Conference

Saturday 24 November 2018, 11:00-16:00

Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD

Unite with international solidarity activists from across the Union and learn more about how you can make a difference for teachers, education for all, and human rights across the globe. With workshops around the Union’s four key pillars of international solidarity, opportunities for regional and national networking, and speakers from across the Union, this is your chance to connect for change. Click here to register.

Sex Education Forum Conference: Countdown to statutory RSE

Friday 30 November, 9:30 – 16:30

Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre, 108 Stamford Street, London, SE1 9NH

To support schools with the changes to RSE in England we are sponsoring the Sex Education Forum’s Conference which will give guidance on  the new legislation and advice on how to build an inclusive and up-to-date RSE programme. Mary Bousted is a keynote speaker. You can find out more and book your tickets here.


On Tuesday, Mary appeared on 5Live Breakfast to discuss the latest report from the Women and Equalities Committee on sexual harassment in public places. Listen from 5:15 here. Mary also did the rounds of BBC Local Radio afternoon shows, 13 in total, on the same subject.

In the afternoon our SEND petition – signed by 34,000 people as part of the School Cuts campaign – was delivered to the Department for Education (see Campaigns section). It was strongly picked up in the press, not just by the Daily Mail, TES and Morning Star but also 300 local reports thanks to the Press Association.

Also this week the OECD published its Equity in Education report, focusing on barriers to social mobility. We were quoted in Nursery World, Morning Star, Schools Week and TES.

Elsewhere we commented on the pass rate for chartered teacher status in Schools Week, an increase in school absences for Press Association, the numbers of teacher trainees on bursaries who do not then teach in state schools (The Times £), prosecutions against the owners of an illegal school in West London for the I and MSN News, and mental health amongst NQTS for the Independent. Ros McNeil also contributed to a Guardian report on SEND exclusions.

And finally we are proud to have signed up to two calls for funding ahead of the Budget. The first was led by the National Children’s Bureau, who brought 120 organisations together in the name of children’s services (Morning Star, Children and Young People Now), and this was followed on Thursday by the Raise the Rate campaign for sixth form education funding. Read about that here and here and please show your support on social media.

We will also be making additional statements ahead of the Budget over the course of this weekend.

Yours sincerely

Kevin Courtney

Joint General Secretary

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