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NEU Latest News: 12th October 2018-with updates.

October 12, 2018 | 18-030E



Ahead of the Budget on 29 October, the NEU has released a joint video with ASCL and NAHT to tell the Government that enough is enough. The video encourages school groups to write to their MPs before the Budget about the school funding crisis. It also condemns the Government’s invidious decision to ignore the recommendations of the independent review body on teachers’ pay. The video has already been viewed more than 350,000 times and the model letter to MPs has been downloaded 2,000 times.

Please help us get the message to the Government by:

  • sharing the video on social media.
  • ringing school reps in each parliamentary constituency you cover to ensure each MP receives at least three such letters, signed by school staffs.
  • asking reps to send you pictures of the signed letters so you can share them on social media to encourage more schools to do the same.
  • also asking sympathetic MPs to publicise their letter to Damian Hinds in response.


Nikki Simpson Award for Learning 2019
Division and associations are invited to submit nominations for the Nikki Simpson Award for Learning. The award will be presented to an NEU union learning rep (ULR) or team of members who will have demonstrated one or more of the following:

  • Used learning as an organising tool to recruit more members and engaged members in the work of the Union
  • Supported members and helped them to overcome barriers to learning
  • Negotiated with employers to increase learning opportunities for all education staff

The Nikki Simpson Award commemorates the passion for union learning embodied by a late colleague who passed away whilst working as Learning and Development Organiser for the ATL in 2017. Nikki worked tirelessly alongside local officers brokering learning opportunities for hundreds of members and developing a network of union learning reps. This award commemorates the transformational impact of union learning both on members and union organisation.

Division and associations can nominate a ULR or team of members by completing the nomination form and emailing it to Nominations close on 18 December 2018.

Advice for schools – EpiPen shortage
The Department for Education has advised that there is a shortage of EpiPen and EpiPen Junior, which is likely to continue for the rest of the year. It has advised that this will lead to some pupils using different adrenaline auto-injectors or carrying fewer devices than they normally do. If pupils normally require access to two devices while at school, the DfE advises that during the shortage, one personal device could be left at school, if the school holds a back-up (non-personal) device. Should a case of anaphylaxis occur and two devices be required the personal device should be administered immediately, and the non-personal device can be administered after 5 minutes if the pupil does not improve while emergency care is on route.

Please read the DfE advice and circulate to members and schools in your area.


Human Rights abuses of children and families in the USA
Mary Bousted and I have written to His Excellency Mr Julian Braithwaite, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, UK Mission to the UN and Other International Organisations in Geneva regarding the human rights abuses of children and families seeking asylum in the United States. We have called on the Ambassador to hold President Trump’s administration to account and protect the rights and futures of these families. Read the letter here.

Play for Cuba and CSC Affiliation
The Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Music Fund for Cuba, and the NEU-NUT Section are collecting instruments to support music education in Cuba. Music is hugely important in Cuba, but the US blockade has limited the availability of instruments and resources. You can help by donating new and used instruments to the appeal. Find out more here. You are also encouraged to affiliate, both individually and as a division/association, to the Cuba Solidarity Campaign. Please affiliate online here or contact Ollie Hopkins for details.

International Visitors to Hamilton House
This week, we had the pleasure of welcoming social solidarity activists from Greece to Hamilton House, organised through the Greece Solidarity Campaign. The delegation spoke of their work with solidarity schools and clinics, focused on supporting education and opportunities for all. The Union also welcomed Chief Mandla Mandela, member of the South Africa Parliament and grandson of Nelson Mandela, who spoke about South Africa’s support for the Palestinian people. Chief Mandela is on a delegation organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and a full report of his visit can be read here.


Oppose the Democratic’ Football Lads Alliance in London tomorrow (13 October)
Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) have organised a demonstration in London to oppose a demo organised by the racist ‘Democratic’ Football Lads Alliance (DFLA).

SUTR will be assembling at Old Palace Yard, Westminster, at 1pm. We know that members will wish to join this demonstration and we would encourage them to do so in groups – members do need to be aware that the DFLA tactics can be, frankly, thuggish and it would be irresponsible if we did not prepare members for this.

Further information can be found here and on the event Facebook group.


A new report, released on Sunday by the Education Policy Institute, showed that referrals to CAMHS have jumped by 26% in five years. Read my full comment here, which was quoted by the Morning Star, Metro, Northern Echo, Press Association and TES.

In other news, we commented on UTCs in TES, FE Week and the Independent, and we were quoted widely by Press Association (40+ regional titles) as part of a data story inspired by the recent Government stats on phonics. Criticism of the DfE’s own misuse of stats continued this week, with our comment featuring in this TES story. Mary also commented on yet more money being squandered on failed free school projects (Schools Week), and uses of money by Schools Company Trust (also Schools Week).

A major speech from Amanda Spielman this week set out a new focus for school inspections. Our press release is here and this was quoted by the Independent and Education Executive.

Mary debated the future of Ofsted with Steve Mastin of the Conservative Education Society, in the most recent issue of Schools Week. You can read it online here. Mary’s blog for our website marking World Mental Health Day was also picked up by the TES, and her guest column for the Morning Star, ahead of the Budget, appeared yesterday.

The TES reported this week on the aforementioned joint NEU/NAHT/ASCL video here.

A joint letter on fracking, signed by me, was published by the Independent. On a related theme, the NUT-section Executive passed a motion at the weekend opposing Ineos’ sponsorship of The Daily Mile, and I commented on this for a BBC story yesterday.

Yours sincerely

Kevin CourtneyJoint General Secretary


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