NASUWT Islington Association

THE CAREER TEACHERíS ORGANISATION Spring 2006 Newsletter

www.islington.nasuwt.org.uk

Secretary: Greg Robbins, Richard Cloudesley Sch, tel 7251 1161 fax 251 4911 gregrobbins@nasuwt.net


To All Islington Teachers,

Happy New Year.

Staffing Reviews and TLR

Last term, despite a very slow start, the vast majority of Islington schools successfully completed the review of the staffing structure. It is true that a (very) small minority failed to provide any documentation and have not consulted at all - and these schools will have difficulty resisting any appeal against any decision they have taken - but most schools willingly shared information and took comments on board. In fact, in most schools staff will receive more money as a result. The impact has been greatest in primary schools, where teachers who were not paid to be subject co-ordinators no longer have that responsibility. If anyone is asked to take on (or continue with) responsibilities without being paid, it is vital that you contact your school rep or local secretary - or just say "no". If anyone has a burning urge to be responsible for something within the school despite the advice and support NASUWT has given, whether it be to organise the school play, run a project or anything else without being paid, please make it clear that you are doing it out of the goodness of your heart and that it is not part of your job.

Has anything gone wrong ?

Apart from one or two specific situations which we are aware of, and where the individuals salaries are safeguarded, none of our members in Islington stand to lose any money as a result of this process - generally the opposite. If you feel that you might be losing money, therefore, it is not something which was apparent from the consultation and you must contact your local secretary asap.

If your responsibility has been replaced by a TLR for the same task, you should have that post.

If your responsibility has become part of a new TLR, that post is ringfenced to the people who carried out that role before. No-one else can be given it unless you do not want it.

If you are asked to carry out more for the same money, the school must have a very good reason and Iíve not heard one yet.

Some schools may have created difficulties by insisting posts are "new" and that staff must apply for them. In many cases this may be unlawful, but please ring me if you need advice on this. You do not have to apply for new posts if you do not wish to.

If a decision has been made on your pay about which you are not happy you must appeal and seek advice from your local secretary.

In one respect, at least, the reviews did often fail. The "vision" was that the new structures would be a structure "shared" by all staff and unions and this was often not the case.

Overall, the impact of pay decisions has been positive for members, staffing structures are more transparent and some questionable practices have been exposed and, hopefully, dealt with. The changes cannot be overturned in the next three years without further formal consultation.

Results of PPA time audit

The PPA time audit threw up some interesting results. Some of them unrelated to PPA itself. Predictably the changes were least in secondary schools, but noticeably some schools have not identified which NCT is PPA time, which is a legal requirement. Remember, if itís marked as PPA, no one can take that time from you, except maybe if itís a fire drill.

Some secondary schools which had appreciable NCT already did not give more for those with management responsibilities. It was then not clear those people were not receiving their entitlement or whether other staff were being treated generously.

In primary schools, however, every teacher seemed to be receiving the time, except if it was doled out in 30 minute slots the teachers did not get the benefit of it.

The greatest surprise thrown up was that in a minority of schools NQTs are not receiving their extra 10% off timetable for induction. This is a statutory right and all teachers are required to co-operate in their own professional development - so you shouldnít feel pressured into opting out.

I had to exclude some items which would have skewed the results, ie the NCT for members on the leadership spine. This is interesting, however, as there was a clear contrast between the NCT for those on the leadership spine and those with management responsibilities which clearly hits primary members hardest. The workload agreement may have had the greatest impact for primary members, but they are an awfully long way behind still, compared with secondary members.

General Meeting 26th January 2006.

Thatís the day after Burnís Night.

Our next meeting will be held at Holloway School in the English department.

By now you should have received in school the large list of Conference motions. It is easy to forget that union policies actually change national policy and that individual members have a say in what is put forward. The focus for the next meeting will therefore be "How to Change the World". Possibly ambitious maybe, but we will decide what we want our Conference to discuss and give our representatives an idea of the strength of our feelings. This year Islington has put forward two motions (below), but that leaves us ten more to support.

 

Children's Centres - Extended Schools

Conference instructs National Executive to carry out a review of the impact of Children's Centres and Extended Schools in relation to any threat to pay and conditions of service and line management of members. To then produce a clear policy in regard to all aspects of those initiatives in order to support members affected.

Further, to review the government strategy of extended day institutional provision for children from 8am to 6pm and to assess its validity under the principals of Every Child Matters with particular reference to the educational needs of children and the impact on teaching.

For National Executive to then report to Conference in 2007 in regard to the potential impact of Children's Centres and Extended Schools and extended day detailing policy and strategy in regard to such centres.

Prop: Peter Simkins, Sec: Bernice Vanier Islington Association

and

Special Needs

Conference instructs National Executive to renew its dialogue with government in regard to government policy on Special Needs in order to ensure:

a variety of provision is available for children with special needs including substantial provision for children with specialist needs

manageable teaching groups for mainstream teachers

appropriate provision for mainstream pupils

For National Executive to report to Conference 2007 on outcomes of discussions.

Prop: Peter Simkins, Sec: Sue Bush Islington Association

If you cannot come, please use the form on the next page to tell us which motions teachers in your school feel are relevant.

We will also be able to nominate our national executive members.

Spring Term training at the Regional Office

COURSE TITLE

DATES

Principles of Coaching Within the Workforce

[2 Days initially, 4 Days in Total]

Wednesday 18th Jan

Thursday 19th Jan

Tuesday 21st March

Thursday 11th May

Representatives (Stage I):
Working Together
[2 Days]

Friday 10th March

Monday 13th March

Representatives (Stage II)

Working Together
[2 Days]

Tuesday 7th Feb

Tuesday 13th June

Health & Safety Representatives

[Stage I]

Friday 24th February

Friday 19th May

Learning Representatives (Stage 1)

[2 Days]

Monday 6th March

Tuesday 7th March

This training will be at the offices in St John St EC1. Ring 7490 6130 to book.

Allegations against teachers

Last term new guidelines for handling allegations against teachers, particularly involving possible abuse, were published by Ruth Kelly on behalf of the DfES. You will recall that our last General Meeting was dedicated to explaining what might happen if a complaint is made about you. Several members were concerned about elements of the process which they felt were fundamentally unfair. The new guidance does not substantially affect the course of events that follow from an investigation, but do set out clearer timescales in which the process must operate. The presentation to the General Meeting was well received and could be repeated to members in school meetings too, should they wish it.

Pensions

You will have seen in the press last term and occasionally since then reports on public sector pensions. A deal was reached by which teachers already in the pension scheme will keep their existing pension arrangements and be able to receive their pension entitlements from age 60. New entrants to the scheme would generally not be able to collect their pensions until 65. This does mean that there will be two levels of pension applicable to teachers, but at least means that each person will be entitled to the benefits which they "signed up for" as it were. Our view is that the pension plan is one part of the payment which we receive for our work and it is too late to try and change that pension after we have started, especially some years afterwards. Newer teachers will have some benefits that are not available to those of us already teaching, but there are no plans to allow teachers to opt for the new arrangements. Unfortunately, the deal does not apply to all public sector staff. The government still hopes to retrospectively change the pension plans of many public sector staff, including school support staff. If they continue with this, it is hard to see how there could fail to be widespread industrial action, including school closures. If that is the case, I hope we will be able to do what we can to support our colleagues.

Greg Robbins

 


You should have received a list of 102 motions, which must be whittled down to 12 by a ballot by members.

If you cannot attend the meeting on 26th January, please take the time to send us a list of the motions which you feel should be debated at Conference this Easter. Complete this form and fax it to Greg Robbins, NASUWT Secretary, 7251 4911 or by internal mail to Richard Cloudesley School.

Name .................................................... School.........................................................

I cannot attend the meeting at Holloway School on 26/1/06

I would like to suggest / members at my school would like to suggest (delete as appropriate)

that the Islington Association proposes the following motions be debated at Conference 2006:

 

                     

Please give any particular reasons for selecting these:

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(If you did not receive a copy of the list of motions, contact me as I have spare copies.

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