NEU News: 29th June 2018

June 29, 2018 | 18-021 E

NATIONAL EDUCATION UNION | CAMPAIGNS UPDATE | ACTION | NOTICEBOARD | INTERNATIONAL | DATES FOR YOUR DIARY| IN THE NEWS


NATIONAL EDUCATION UNION

NEU elections – Treasurer/Membership & Equalities Officer and National Disciplinary /National Appeals Committee
As you may know, the elections for NEU Treasurer and Membership & Equality Officer and the NDC/NAC have now opened. All eligible members (all bar student and retired members) have been sent voting papers for return by midday on 11 July. We have set up an election hotline – 020 7380 4825 – which will operate until 5 July which will be the last possible date to send out duplicate papers.

A text message will be sent to all members in the election cohort on Sunday at 2pm encouraging members to vote in the elections and to call the hotline if they don’t receive a voting paper. The text message will have an ‘opt out’ facility and all members who have previously advised us that they wish to opt out of such messages will not receive the text. If you get any complaints from members, just email their contact details to rachel.baxter@neu.org.uk and she will get in touch with them.

If you have any queries about the election process, please email rachel.baxter@neu.org.uk or judith.hearn@neu.org.uk.

CAMPAIGNS UPDATE

Funding
Off the back of the letter signed by 39 councils to urgently fund SEND, the School Cuts coalition launched a petition on cuts to SEND. This petition has now reached over 10k signatures, in less than a week.

Thank you for all your support, please continue to share with reps and members in your area.

DfE school workforce census
Data revealed by the DfE shows that pupil numbers have gone up by 137,000 but teacher numbers have gone down by 5,500.  The number of staff in schools overall has declined 11,000 since last year’s census. As the data is analysed further we will post updates.

London Councillors briefing – 3 July
On 3 July I will be joining, Kiri Tunks, Martin Powell-Davies and over 80 London Councillors to discuss school funding and what councils can do to help us in this campaign.

We are in the process of looking to develop an NEU Councillor Network. If you know of Councillors that would be interested in signing up to hear more from us, they can sign up here.

If you would be interested in a Councillor event in your area, please get in touch via cllrs@neu.org.uk

Workload
Ahead of the relaunch of our workload campaign in September, this weekend we will be contacting in-service members to ask what the main cause of workload is in their school. We want to build a picture of the spread of workload issues around the country and gauge what impact previous Government and Ofsted advice has had in reducing workload. Anecdotally we believe school leaders continue to ask teachers to complete tasks which Ofsted and the DfE have said are not required. But we want to gather as much evidence as we can, both to take into our talks with Government ministers and to ensure we’re providing members with the resources they need to address workload issues in their schools. Please encourage members in your area to respond to the emails and help us to tackle workload. As part of the campaign, we are also looking to profile NEU school groups which have achieved wins on workload within their school, however big or small. If you have any examples please send them to campaigns@neu.org.uk

ACTION

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

Action Date Contact
Springfield Primary School/Birmingham (Restructure) Tuesday 3 July Wednesday 4 July Thursday 5 July DAVID.ROOM@neu.org.uk
St Giles School/Nottinghamshire (Terms & Conditions) Tuesday 3 July Wednesday 4 July Jane.Crich@neu.org.uk
The John Roan School/Greenwich (Transfer of Employer) Tuesday 3 July
Thursday 5 July
Tim.Woodcock@neu.org.uk
Baxter College/Worcestershire (Restructure) Tuesday 3 July Sean.McCauley@neu.org.uk
Langdon Park/Tower Hamlets (Restructure) Tuesday 3 July Wednesday 4 July Thursday 5 July Alex.Kenny@neu.org.uk

*please note that last week’s action update included a number of strike days that had been suspended as follows: the action scheduled for Wednesday 27 June in Baxter College/Worcestershire and St Giles School/Nottinghamshire and Hall Green Infants & Nursery School/Birmingham on 26, 27, 28 June. These suspensions occurred after the e-Bulletin had been circulated. Details of strike dates are correct at the time of writing (12 noon on Fridays) so will not include any details of suspended action received after that time.

NOTICEBOARD

Resources and advice on grammar school expansion plans
The Union has updated its webpage on grammar schools and the Government’s latest plans to expand selective education. Resources include a new advice note to update Divisions and Associations on the plans and the Union’s response. Our grammar school Edufact has also been updated.

“Ofsted reports can’t bear the weight being placed on them”
The fact that a single one-off inspection visit of a few hours can bring about a permanent change to the control of a school through academisation is one of the most bizarre and draconian features of our accountability system. In his latest blog Warwick Mansell shines a light on the inconsistencies and lack of accountability at the heart of Ofsted’s approach to inspection and asks whether it’s time for the inspectorate to show a bit more humility.

Primary practitioners needed: Gender Equality Pilot, Summer work
Please could you send out the following request to primary members in your area who might be interested in taking part in this exciting project:

Lifting Limits is a social enterprise with a mission to challenge gender stereotyping and promote gender equality, in and through education.  We are looking for experienced primary teachers with a passion for gender equality, good subject knowledge across the curriculum and availability to undertake a few days’ paid work in July/early August to create resources for our pilot. Our approach is whole school and evidence-based, supporting schools to promote gender equality through ethos, routines and curriculum and giving staff and pupils the confidence and tools to challenge gender stereotyping wherever they encounter it. We are in the early stages of a pilot which will run throughout the 2018-19 school year and will be externally evaluated, involving inset presentations, pupil and parent workshops and a wide range of resources for use in school.

We are looking for experienced teachers, ideally subject leads and with a minimum 4 years’ experience in maintained primaries to develop lesson plans across the primary curriculum in the following subjects: maths, literacy, PSHE, geography, history, art and design, computing, design and technology, music, PE and MFL. We are also looking for an experienced EYFS practitioner.  We anticipate around 3 days’ work in each subject at a rate of £175 per day.

If you are qualified and interested in being part of this exciting venture, please send your CV to info@liftinglimits.org.uk by 6th July.

INTERNATIONAL

Play for Cuba – Musical Instrument Appeal  
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 at here.

Amnesty International human rights education toolkit on US family separation
Amnesty International have developed a global action asking children and teenagers across the world to send messages of solidarity to the children who have been separated from their families in the United States. The resource is for teachers and will help students in schools understand better what is happening with the US immigration policy of detaining and separating children from asylum-seeking families, and invites classes to take positive action through messages of solidarity. Download the toolkit for schools here.

Acts of Courage: Remembering Srebrenica Memorial Week 2018
Members are strongly encouraged to involve their school this July. Suggested activities could include:

  1. Delivering a commemoration assembly or form time workshop to mark Srebrenica Memorial Day. Free downloadable resources are available here.
  2. Listening to Rešad Trbonja’s remarkable testimony of surviving the Siege of Sarajevo on the 11th July by tuning in to the special survivor live stream. Register here.
  3. Dedicating a football match to the victims of the Srebrenica genocide and join thousands of young people across the UK, playing football and tackling hatred and intolerance together as part of the WE ARE ONE initiative. Click here for details.

You can also join the Union in commemorating the anniversary by:

  1. Contributing to our Acts of Courage board
  2. Attending our screening of two short films from the ‘Ordinary Heroes’ series at Hamilton House on Thursday, 12 July. These films document the stories of Bosnian citizens who showed extraordinary courage at a time when their country was committing acts of genocide. Register here.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Retired Teachers’ Convention 2018 – Tuesday 16 October
The annual NUT Section Retired Teachers’ Convention will be held at NUT Section HQ in London and gives retired members an opportunity to meet and discuss a range of topics including how to continue to participate in Union campaigns. To book please visit our website.

IN THE NEWS
Sir Michael Wilshaw’s speech to the Festival of Education focusing on discipline in schools and the use of mobile phones was widely covered. We gave our comment on the former Ofsted inspectors’ toxic influence on schools while in his post.

SecEd covered our campaign for increased SEND funding. Our joint union report on PSHE education being a compulsory subject taught in all schools was also covered again in Education Today

BBC radio 4 ran a programme on Michael Gove – questioning whether he has been the most effective minister. No need to guess our response but do read the link to the full story.

Our survey on the difficulties FE colleges and teachers face was written up in the TES and FE News. The NEU also gave evidence at the Public Accounts Committee on Ofsted which was reported in Schools Week and finally after the spell of hot weather our advice and my comments on temperatures in classrooms was covered in the Mail.

Yours sincerely

Kevin Courtney

Joint General Secretary

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