Latest news : NEU : 1st March 2019


                                                                                                       March 1, 2019 | 19/008 E




On Monday, a three-hour debate on school funding took place in Parliament, triggered by a petition  set up by head teachers in Gateshead and signed by 107,000 people, including thousands of NEU members. Thanks to pressure from NEU members and School Cuts supporters, dozens of MPs stood up at the debate to speak out for schools in their constituencies and attack the Government’s position. This included 18 Tory MPs, a clear illustration that the impact the cuts are having is of huge concern across the political spectrum. Hundreds of NEU members responded to our call for them to email their MP and outline the effect of the cuts on their school. Between NEU and School Cuts more than 3,000 emails were sent to 497 of England’s 522 MPs (93%) in just a few days. See photos from the day and watch the debate back

Ahead of next week’s Spring Statement we want to keep up pressure on the Government to change course. So along with the other School Cuts partner unions, we are once again setting out our “6 Tests” for the Chancellor’s statement and we are writing to Damian Hinds and Philip Hammond urging them to face up to the “national emergency” of education funding and pledge the urgent injection of investment that is so desperately needed. We are also supporting the hundreds of councillors who have already signed an open letter to Damian Hinds, calling for more money for education ahead of this year’s spending review. Please continue to encourage councillors in your area to support this initiative, set up by the NEU Councillors Network.

Baseline Assessment

Right now, primary schools are being asked to sign up for the pilot of the Reception Baseline Assessment, taking place in September. The NEU believes Baseline testing, and this pilot, is a waste of teachers’ time and public money and is not in the best interests of pupils. The pilot is entirely voluntary and many schools will decide not to take part. NEU will support them in this.

We are asking primary heads to tell us whether they will be signing up for the pilot. To support heads, we are asking NEU reps in primary to discuss with members a model motion opposing Baseline. And campaign group More Than A Score (MTAS), in which the NEU is a partner, is asking parents to ask their head teacher not to take part in the pilot. Please encourage school groups in your area to discuss the motion and encourage heads to tell the DfE they do not want to participate. There are other resources to support activity on the website.


Honoraria Payments – Survey of District Secretaries

There have been significantly different practices between and within the NEU predecessor unions on the payment of honoraria to local officers. Honoraria were not paid at any level in the ATL. Half of NUT local associations did not pay any honoraria. In light of this, the JEC decided that honoraria could not be awarded in local districts until a decision of the NEU Executive had been made on the principles governing the award of honoraria. The JEC also decided that this decision should not be made until a consultation exercise with local districts had taken place and that the decision should be accompanied by advice and guidance agreed by the NEU Executive. The survey has been emailed to all district secretaries and closes on 30 May 2019. Any queries about this exercise should be emailed to Rachel –


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

Action Date Contact
Shrewsbury Colleges Group/Shrewsbury (Observations) Wednesday 13 March Jean Evanson

Galliard Primary School / Enfield

(Transfer of Employer)

Tuesday 12 March

Wednesday 13 March

Thursday 14 March

Anne-Marie Hickling

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


Remembering Srebrenica 2019 Theme Announced

Every year, Remembering Srebrenica selects a theme that both reflects an aspect of the genocide that must be commemorated and speaks to communities here in the UK. The theme for 2019, ‘Bridging the Divide: Confronting Hate’, seeks to inspire people to challenge those who wish to divide communities, celebrate those who build bridges between communities and change attitudes and behaviours in others to go out and build bridges of their own. Find out more on Remembering Srebrenica’s website.

Unicef UK Clean Air Action Day

On 16 March, Unicef UK is organising an action day focused on protecting children from toxic air. Events will take place in Manchester, Birmingham and London from 10.45 am to 12 pm. Children and young people, campaigners, decision-makers and members of the public will be coming together in each of these cities around a huge banner decorated with children’s artwork showing how strongly they feel about the importance of clean air in their city. Find out more about the events here and Unicef UK’s clean air campaign here.


Advance Notice: Pearson Demonstration

Every year, the Union joins with other national and international partners to challenge the pro-privatisation agenda of edu-business Pearson at its AGM. This year, we will similarly be taking to the steps outside of the meeting, and making our voices heard inside, challenging Pearson’s undermining of public education. The date is not yet set, but will likely be 26 April OR 3 May. Join us in London if you can. More details will follow as plans develop.


The devastating impact of knife crime on families and communities dominated the news this week. PA news carried our comments  which appeared in many news outlets including ITV News. We also did interviews for Radio 5 Live, Talk Radio and BBC News Channel.

School funding was also was top of the news agenda.  Almost 500 individual MPs in England were contacted by NEU members and School Cuts supporters ahead of Wednesdays Westminster Hall on school funding. This was generated by the Gateshead headteachers petition. Read our press release here and also coverage in the Independent, Mirror, FE News ,  and EdExec

Wishing everyone a very happy International Women’s Day. Together let us all help create a #BalanceForBetter

Yours sincerely

Mary Bousted
Joint General Secretary
National Education Union
Kevin Courtney
Joint General Secretary
National Education Union

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