Report on National Executive activities by the representative for Bournemouth, Dorset, Guernsey, Jersey, Poole and Somerset.

Report on National Executive activities by the representative for Bournemouth, Dorset, Guernsey, Jersey, Poole and Somerset.

 Dear all,

The National Lobby of Parliament is building for October 24th during half term with thousands of teachers expected to be in London on the day. School funding remains toward the top of the political agenda by means of our publicly highly rated web-site. It is independently reported that 800,000 people changed their voting intention away from the Tories because of our work on this at the last election and Labour are becoming closer to us with regard to wanting to seek policy initiatives.

The recent crash of the Wakefield City Academy Trust whilst being a tragedy for the students and staff involved has been a timely reminder of how fragile the education service has become under this kind unaccountable and unreliable structure. The NEU indeed proposed a motion highlighting this at the recent TUC gathering in Brighton attended by myself and Michelle Rees of Somerset. Some kind of return of schools to locally accountable structures now looks more likely under a new government.

Also pursued at TUC was an end to public sector pay restraint and the Government has begun to fray at the edges without promising any significant raises for teachers or new money to cover it. Recent new proposals on funding for schools, despite an apparent increase, does not appear to alleviate funding issues in any real sense leaving schools still with having less money than previously. Teacher recruitment and retention is still not a nettle the Government have properly grasped either.

We are currently calling on all unions to join with us to continue to campaign for a reasonable pay claim for next year which begins to address the 15% real terms cut we have suffered in the last 7 years. Also proposed changes to testing have been outlined although, clearly, we still oppose them. Getting rid of KS1 tests in 5 years and shifting emphasis on the tried and failed method of baseline testing does little to reassure teachers that meaningful engagement with the profession over the assessment regime has occurred.

The JEC appointed to oversee the continuing amalgamation process of the NUT and ATL sections has met twice since the summer and is making progress towards aligning the services we provide for members and membership of the new union has been even more successful than hoped. We are looking forward to a positive future.

Robin

Posted by Robin Head on October 11th 2017

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