NEU urgent news update: 13th July 2018

July 13, 2018 | 18-023 E

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

NATIONAL EDUCATION UNION

Model Rules for Districts

To assist you with the discussions about your district rules, we have also provided Appendix C of the NEU Rules – model rules for local districts – in WORD format.   These can be accessed here.

Follow up from the Joint Secretaries’ Briefing
As promised at the JSB in Bristol, the following documents are now available on the NEU website:

  • Q&A from the final session of the Briefing
  • Example District and Branch agendas
  • Notes about local finances in the transition period
  • Pictorial representation of districts and branches in unitary authorities and county councils

Please log in to access all of the documents here.

GDPR
The Union continues to roll out Data Protection training to Association Secretaries and all Officers handling members’ data.

If you have not received your e-mail with a link to the EngageInLearning on-line training, please report this by using this link.

To all Secretaries – if you have Casework Officers who need access to the data protection guidance on the website, please either e-mail these documents to these officers, and/or encourage them to register for access here

This link is on your login page on the website.

Local Websites Update
The new NEU website will be launched in January 2019.

NUT local websites hosted by Oxford Web Applications will be incorporated into the main NEU website – as it currently is on the ATL website.

Although the new local website pages will be part of the new NEU website, divisions/associations will be responsible for managing content on their pages.

We will create a working group of local officers who will contribute to the development of the pages, and in addition, we’ll be in touch with all district and branches well ahead of time, to explain what is happening and when, and to answer any questions about moving content, training etc. If you are interested in being part of the working group, please email us at localwebsites@neu.org.uk.

CAMPAIGNS UPDATE

Funding

This week the Institute for Fiscal Studies published a report showing per-pupil funding has fallen by 8% since 2010, mirroring what teachers have seen happening in schools. The report backs up the arguments that the NEU and School Cuts have been publicising for months and that Government ministers have been attempting to deny. It also showed sixth form spending has declined by 25% and funding for additional services for schools through local authorities has reduced by 55%. School Cuts released a film on Facebook and Twitter, drawing attention to the Government’s contradiction and highlighting the ongoing crisis. Please share this widely.

The campaign for more funding for SEND has also been continuing to grow – a School Cuts video of NEU member and mum Emma Parker has now been viewed 110,000 times and a petition to Damian Hinds calling for an increase in cash for SEND has reached 16,000 signatures. Please continue to share.

Pay
Despite us now being only one week from the end of term in most parts of the country, Education Secretary Damian Hinds has still not released this year’s STRB report on teacher pay. This is totally unacceptable; schools cannot plan for September without knowing what pay rise is recommended and – crucially – whether it will be funded with additional money from Whitehall. Today Mary and I have written to the Secretary of State, jointly with the general secretaries of ASCL, NAHT, UCAC and Voice, reiterating our 5% pay claim, with the requirement for this to be fully-funded, and calling for an announcement without further delay.

There has also been a great deal of traffic on this topic on social media this week, designed to put pressure on the DfE to release this important information. Colleagues have been using the hashtags #AskDamian #WhereisSTRB.  Please continue to tweet and post – linking to the “countdown clock” on the NEU website to keep the pressure on.

Assessment
This year’s SATs results were released this week, showing that 1/3 of pupils failed to meet the “expected standard”. This is a disgraceful way to rank pupils as they finish primary school and begin secondary school. An NEU survey of primary teachers revealed – sadly unsurprisingly – that 90% feel the SATs-based primary assessment system is detrimental to children’s well-being, with 88% saying they do not benefit children’s learning. To coincide with the SATs scores, the More Than A Score (MTAS) coalition released the results of a poll of pupils, which revealed that 44% of children would be worried to sit SATs, underlining a previous survey showing 63% of parents think SATs put too much pressure on kids. The poll also showed that a significant number of children think their individual SATs performance will directly impact their adult life, with almost one in four (23%) believing their results will help them to find a job in the future. It is clear the assessment regime has no credibility among teachers, parents or pupils. MTAS is campaigning for reform of this high-stakes system which puts so much pressure on pupils and teachers. Sign up to support the campaign.

Workload
Ahead of the relaunch of our workload campaign in September, we are 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 17 July
Wednesday 18 July Thursday 19 July
David Room

banut@btconnect.com

St Luke’s Church of England Primary School/Lambeth Wednesday 18 July Sara Tomlinson

sara.tomlinson@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.

NOTICEBOARD

From Windrush to Trump: Understanding Racism in the UK – a Briefing Paper
We’ve published a Briefing which outlines why Trump’s visit to the UK is one point in the continuum of racism here and abroad. It covers key points in history relevant to understanding the threads of racist abuse, attacks, hostile language and behaviour that black people have experienced; and the connections between historical and contemporary racism.

Please share with members and use it all or parts of it on social media, discussions or in the classroom

To see the briefing please click here

Privatisation Update
A raft of new reports have been released showing that the academies programme is not only failing to deliver on its promises, but is also increasing inequality in the school system and negatively impacting on councils’ ability to fulfil their duties to children and young people. Read the latest edition of Privatisation Update for news on these and other stories relating to academies, free schools, and privatisation.

INTERNATIONAL

Could you volunteer in the West Bank?
The Al-Tafawk Centre in Jenin, Palestine is desperately seeking volunteer teachers to teach English through play. Just a few weeks of your time can be life changing for these students who are growing up in extremely difficult surroundings. All volunteers receive accommodation and their main meal free of charge (you will need to cover some meals, taxis and airfare). For more information, please email al.tafawk.center.jenin.camp@gmail.com.

Advance Notice – International Solidarity Activist Conference: Saturday, 24 November 2018, NEU (NUT Section), Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD
Members are invited to save the date for the International Solidarity Activist Conference that will feature speakers and workshops. More information will be shared in due course.

Support The Gambia Sanitary Protection Campaign
The cost of sanitary towels and tampons in The Gambia, together with the lack of school facilities for hygienic disposal of used items, means that many girls will miss school during “that time of the month”. It is estimated that girls in The Gambia without access to sanitary products will miss 48 days of schooling every year. The Steve Sinnott Foundation is fundraising to help level the playing field by teaching girls and teachers how to make safe, re-usable pads using locally sourced materials. Click here to find out how you can support the appeal, and see a video update on the campaign here.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Unity protest against Tommy Robinson, Trump and the far-right: Saturday 14 July 2018 – Assemble between 1pm and 2 pm at Old Palace Yard, Westminster, London

You can also find more information on Facebook.

The President, Kiri Tunks, will be speaking at this event and it will be important to demonstrate our opposition to racism and speak up against those who are seeking to divide our communities. You will be aware of the frighteningly well supported Democratic Football Fans Alliance (DFFA) demonstration in early June that attracted an estimated 10 to 15k supporters. The central rallying cry was a hostility to muslims but the demonstration had attracted a wide range of supporters from the fascist right (EDL), Gerald Batton of UKIP, Kurt Wilders, and also a wider group mobilised by the arrest of Tommy Robinson for breaking reporting restrictions and promoting this as a crackdown on free speech. 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 DFFA tactics can be, frankly, thuggish and it would be irresponsible if we did not prepare members for this.NEU Disabled Teachers Conference: Saturday 20 to Sunday 21 October 2018, Oxford Belfry Hotel, Milton Common, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 2JW.

Please promote this conference as widely as possible across your individual division/association and encourage reps to approach members in their schools to apply.

The theme will be “This is What a Disabled Teacher Looks Like”, celebrating the diversity of our disabled members and organising against the discrimination they face. We’ll be covering an exciting and immersive range of topics, from a presentation on Autism to workshops for deaf and deafened teachers. All self-defining disabled members are eligible to apply.

Cost of conference per delegate is £285 for full delegates and £75 for day delegates. The fee is usually paid by the Division/Association if they agree to nominate the member.  Closing date for receipt of agreed application is 30 September 2018. Early application and Division/Association authorisation is recommended as there are limited places.

IN THE NEWS

Our aforementioned survey of primary teachers on SATs was reported in the Sun, Press Association, the Independent, Education Business, Schools Week and TES.

Key Stage 2 SATs results were issued on Tuesday. We reacted here and it was quoted by EdExec, the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, the Independent and Daily Telegraph.

Amanda Spielman made a speech on Monday evening in which she urged school leaders to resist pressure from minority groups with “a sense of religious or cultural entitlement”, seeking to influence school policy. Mary told the Guardian the speech “did nothing to help schools develop a culturally inclusive curriculum.”

Sneaking under the radar on Thursday was the news that Capita had been awarded the £109m contract for the administration of primary school tests. Read our full comment here, which was quoted in TES.

I tweeted yesterday about the ‘disgraceful child abuse’ that 34% of 11 year olds have been sent letters saying they have not reached an ‘expected standard’ set by politicians. My tweet has now been liked over 1,700 times, including by the Shadow Chancellor. I have had very many messages and offers of support in response to my tweet.

And finally, congratulations to colleagues at our membership magazine The Teacher for its win at the TUC Communications Awards. It was one of four awards in recognition of NEU comms work. Please support The Teacher’s new Twitter feed by retweeting them here.

Yours sincerely

Kevin Courtney

Joint General Secretary

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