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Notes for Division Meeting January 2008

[Previous meeting (November 2007)]


Suffolk Division NUT



Thursday January 24th 2008

Belstead Brook Hotel, Ipswich

Apologies already recorded: Penny Cook, Roger Mackay. Paul Widdowson will be late.

greenblob = Items involving expenditure decisions blue dot = Items for Discussion/Decision

Section A: National with National Executive Report

  1. blue dot National Executive Report
  2. Executive News 139
  3. Executive News 138
  4. blue dotPay Award: The NUT News, press release, proposed pay scales for 2008 to 2011 and NUT pay calculator for 2008 is available on the NUT website at  The Secretary of State’s Parliamentary statement, setting out the STRB’s recommendations and the Government’s decisions, and the DCSF press release and STRB Report can be found at The DCSF press release can also be found at   The STRB report can also be found at
  5. National Pay Campaign:See National Website.  National Executive meeting today.
  6. blue dotPress Release from HQ: COOKERY LESSONS: Commenting on Ed Balls’ announcement to make cooking compulsory, Steve Sinnott, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Europe’s largest teaching union said. “At long last cooking has been made a core part of the curriculum. It is an essential life skill and should have been recognised as such in the recent secondary curriculum review.  Ed Balls’ welcome decision must be accompanied by a costed plan not only for in house training but providing new trained staff to teach cooking. Many schools need their equipment and facilities updating.  Teachers’ judgements about how to include cooking in the curriculum must be respected”.
  7. Press Release from HQ: Commenting on the Governments review of Academies, Steve Sinnott, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Europe’s largest teaching union said:
     “Ed Balls' decision to review Academies is highly significant. It means that the Government is beginning to realise that Academies are not fit for purpose: that of tackling the needs of socially deprived youngsters.  Ed Balls' review should bring Academies back into the maintained sector. A coherent Children Plan cannot be fully realised while the fractured system created by Academies remains in place”.

    Circulars from HQ, etc:
  8. 08-008-O&A - EXECUTIVE ELECTIONS: 2008-2010: Full list of candidates. DISTRICT 15 - CAMBRIDGESHIRE; NORFOLK; PETERBOROUGH; SUFFOLK  One member to be elected (contested)
    Kendra Deacon Broadland, Downham & District, Norfolk (West), Norwich & District

    Graham White

    Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury & District

    Thomas Woodcock Cambridgeshire
  9. blue dot08-007-CCU - PAY CAMPAIGN: a composite list of ideas for developing the Pay Campaign
  10. 08-006-O&A - NUT EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY:vacancy for PRINCIPAL OFFICER – FAIRER FUTURES PROJECT. This is a two-year fixed term contract position and will be based in the South East Regional Office.
  11. blue dotgreenblob08-005-CCU - CAMPAIGN AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE TRADE UNION CONFERENCE: Saturday 9 February 2008 at the University of London Union, Malet Street, London WC1. The NUT Deputy General Secretary, Christine Blower, will be speaking at the conference, alongside Mark Serwotka (General Secretary, PCS), Matt Wrack (General Secretary, FBU), Frances O’Grady (Deputy General Secretary, TUC), Michael Meacher MP and Caroline Lucas ME.
  12. 08-004-SALS - SOULBURY PAY AGREEMENT: Soulbury Unions have agreed a 2.475% increase with effect from September 1st 2007.  Scales available on . MG has circulated details to all Soulbury members.
  13. blue dotgreenblob08-003-O&A - ANNUAL CONFERENCE – MANCHESTER : EASTER 2008 PAYMENT OF CONFERENCE REPRESENTATIVES' TRAVEL EXPENSES: grant for local secretaries is available for a maximum of five days at £90 per day.  Council to decide on rate of reimbursement for the second Division delegate.
  14. 08-002-SUP - PENSIONS INCREASE PAYABLE WITH EFFECT FROM APRIL 2008: Those pensioners whose pensions were increased on 9 April 2007 and those pensioners whose pensions began on or before 22 April 2007 will receive an increase of 3.9 per cent.  Those pensioners who have retired since 23 April 2007 will receive a proportionate increase.
  15. 08-001-CCU - PAY CAMPAIGN – NATIONAL ADVERTISEMENTS: copy of the advert.
  16. 07-191-CCU - DIVISION SECRETARIES’ BRIEFING – WEDNESDAY, 9 JANUARY 2008 - Graham attended.
  19. 07-188-O&A - ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2008 - MANCHESTER : FRIDAY, 21 MARCH TO TUESDAY, 25 MARCH 2008: creche, observer credentials, etc.
  20. 07-187-SALS-SCHOOL FUNDING: the DCSF announcement of the school funding settlement in England for the 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 financial years, and request for information from divisions on school funding issues in the form of a questionnaire.
  21. 07-185-M&C - DISCLOSURE BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES OF INFORMATION ON NEWLY RECRUITED TEACHERS: “There is no Data Protection Act requirement on local authorities to obtain individual consent from newly recruited teachers before giving lists to the NUT.  All that is required is that those newly recruited should be told in their appointment information packs that this will happen and given the opportunity to object.”
  23. 07-186-EEO - TIME TO COUNT: A RECEPTION FOR NUT DISABLED MEMBERS - a reception for disabled members which will be held on Saturday, 1 March 2008 at Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London.
  24. 07-183-EEO - CAREER TERMINOLOGY: The Union’s training and CPD programmes have found it useful to agree terminology used to describe teachers’ career stages in order to ensure that courses and events targeted at particular groups of teachers are consistently described.  It would be helpful if other representatives of the Union could adopt the same terms and definitions. The terminology that has been agreed is as follows.
    Student Teachers those involved in Initial Teacher Training/Education.
    Just Qualified

    teachers who have just finished their initial teacher training and are about to take up their first teaching post.

    Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) teachers in their first year of employment as a qualified teacher during which they are subject to Induction requirements.
    Early Career Teachers teachers in their second to fifth years (inclusive) of teaching.
    Leadership Group all teachers paid under the Leadership Pay Spine including head teachers, deputy head teachers and assistant head teachers.
    Mid-Career Teachers - teachers with approximately 7 to 20+ years of teaching.
    GRTP - teachers who are currently on or have recently completed Graduate, Registered and/or Teach First initial teacher training routes.
    Young Teachers NUT members aged 35 or under.  This is an age-based definition agreed by Annual Conference - the group may include members who are in any or all of the above categories.)
    Divisions, associations and union learning representatives are asked to use the same terminology in referring to particular groups of teachers.
  27. 07-178/CCU: Division Secretaries' Conference on Pay Campaign, 9th Jan 08, 10:30-15:30. Conflicts with JNC Teachers Panel
  29. blue dot07-174-SALS - NUT GUIDANCE ON THE TEACHERS’ PAY STRUCTURE AND MODEL SCHOOL PAY POLICY 2007. Full details on Hearth.   The main changes to the two documents following the publication of the 2007 STPCD are:
       •       an amendment as a result of the introduction of links between performance management and pay progression in England; and 
      •        the introduction of new pay standards for teachers in England and Wales.
      Other changes include:
      •        an encouragement to governing bodies to use their discretion to appoint teachers who were formerly employed as leadership group teachers or ASTs, Soulbury paid staff or on the higher level pay scales in sixth form colleges or JNCTRE establishments and who are entitled to be paid on the UPS, to posts above U1 on the UPS;
      •    a new provision to secure that on taking up posts in England or Wales, main scale teachers are in receipt of mandatory experience points for service in state schools in Scotland and Northern Ireland;
      •        a change that makes Fast Track teachers subject to the working time provisions for classroom teachers; and
      •        an end to the recruitment of Fast Track teachers through the ITT route.
  30. 07-173-CCU - EU REFORM TREATY .  Following a TUC resolution, members are invited to contact their MP and MEP to express concern about the UK opting out of the Charter of Fundamental Rights “that the competition protocol in the Reform Treaty could be a Trojan horse to promote unfettered privatisation throughout the EU.”
  31. greenblob07-172-EEO - UNICEF's Day for Change 2008 takes place on Friday 1, February 2008.  Schools are being asked to encourage pupils to take part in an activity in exchange for making a small donation to UNICEF to raise money towards water and sanitation projects in The Gambia, West Africa. 
    Section B: Regional  
  32. Des Hart to report.
  33. Penny Cook is Eastern Region President for 2008
  34. The Regional Council has agreed to hold a Regional Reception at Sunday lunchtime at Conference in Manchester.
  35. Kath More was unsuccessful in the election for the regional delegate to the TUC Women's Conference.  Jane Millership was elected.
    Section C: Division
  36. blue dot  Unitary Councils: 5/23/07: Community Secretary Hazel Blears shocked everyone, it appears, by finally rejecting the plan for Ipswich to go Unitary, saying that it was after all too small, and that the government will no longer support "hybrid" counties of one and 2-tier local government. Instead, the Government has told the Boundary Committee for England to create proposals for a Greater Ipswich and one or two other unitary authorities for the rest of the county.  It appears that the Boundary Committee is now instructed to create two or three unitary authorities in Suffolk.  This would spell the end of the county council and the shire districts of Ipswich, Suffolk Coastal, Babergh, Mid Suffolk, St Edmundsbury, Forest Heath, and Waveney.  The Committee will look at a number of options:
    - A Greater Ipswich including Kesgrave, Pinewood and possibly Woodbridge and Felixstowe, with the remainder of the county covered by a rural unitary.
    - An East Suffolk unitary comprising of Ipswich, Suffolk Coastal, Waveney and parts of Mid Suffolk and Babergh.
    - A West Suffolk unitary covering St Edmundsbury, Forest Heath, and the remaining parts of Babergh and Mid Suffolk.
    -Waveney to amalgamate with Great Yarmouth.
  37. Implications for SOR: If the new proposals for Suffolk to be divided into 3 unitary councils go through, this will have implications for the Waveney area and West Suffolk area, where the Ipswich-dominated Suffolk County Council has decided to do away with Middle Schools and create 11-16 schools and sixth-form colleges.  The NUT is saying in its response to the Lowestoft and Haverhill consultation that the plans should now be put on hold, so that there can be more local decisions making instead of direction from an Ipswich-centred county administration.  If the Yartoft initiative takes off, then that area will need to look again at the Lowestoft SOR proposals - do they really need an FE college and 2 sixth-form colleges/centres?
  38. blue dotNUT Response to Proposal to reorganise education in Lowestoft, January 2008.  Completed and submitted to LA before 18th January deadline. Copy on website.   Gives continuing arguments against creating 11-16 schools and calls for openness and honesty about plans for 14-19 and staffing of the 17-19 Centres.  Graham is preparing a response on the Haverhill proposals.
  39. blue dotSWISS: The Authority has begun consultation over its plans for a 16-19 (Sixth-form) Centre for SW Ipswich and South Suffolk. Once again, they forgot to include the TUs in the distribution.  JNC is raising questions on governance of the new centre, access to it by KS4 students, and staffing.  The LA is still claiming that existing teachers in the contributory schools will be able to teach in the 16-19 centre, but they admit that the new centre will be a new individual school, with an independent Head and an independent Governing Body.  They just hope that everyone will cooperate.  Is this just wishful thinking?  The only way that there can be a single management strategy is to go for a very large trust, embracing the centre and all the contributory schools.   The LA have at last acknowledged that setting up 11-16 and 16-19 schools will create logistical problems re. transport.   However, the long and detailed Sustainability Report, produced to underpin SOR decisions, ignores totally the transport / carbon footprint implications of such centres.
  40. ISIS Reconfiguration: There have been meetings of the Soulbury Forum and County Secretaries over the re-structuring of the Advisory Service.  All Advisory Members have been circulated.  Summary:

    The NUT and ASPECT have held further talks with Janet Wellings concerning the desirability or otherwise of Advisory Teachers being placed on Soulbury rather than Teachers’ Pay and Conditions. The reasons for examining the pros and cons have arisen because of changes to the Soulbury pay scale, which have effectively added 3 extra Performance-Related pay spine points to the previous maximum (SPA or “Structured Professional Assessment” Points).    This would mean that those (new) Advisory Teachers who are already on Soulbury would have access to higher salaries than those who were already ATs in 2003 and who chose to remain on Teachers’ Pay and Conditions.   Those ATs have a guarantee to be able to stay in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme for as long as they stay in post. Advisory Headteachers are in a similar position in that they could benefit from up to 3 SPA points if transferring to Soulbury. SPA points are discretionary and depend on performance criteria, but so far virtually all applicants have got at least SPA 1 and 2.   It is clear therefore that there is likely to be a considerable advantage in going onto Soulbury pay.


    The only concern therefore remains pensions, as it is not possible for new Soulbury post holders to be admitted to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (and has not been since 2003).  As the Teachers’ Pension Scheme was amended from January 1st 2007 and the Local Government Pension Scheme is also about to change (from April 2008?), the situation has become very complicated.   The principle difference between the 2 schemes is that the “normal” age of retirement (without reduction) is 60 for Teachers and 65 for Local Government.   So those ATs wanting to retire at 60 might have to work longer to get their full LG pension.  Some comparative pay and pensions information is on our website on .   

    We have pointed out that it is vital that each individual Advisory Teacher needs to be given information about the effect of changing over to LG Pensions before exercising that choice.    We think it should remain a choice.  The NUT has therefore requested that the Authority produces a print-out for each Advisory Teacher/Headteacher giving as best an estimate as possible for each individual person of the effect on them of transferring to Local Government Pensions..

    The County Secretaries are in discussion with JW re. the re-structuring of posts.  The top 3 levels of appointments have now been made, leaving just the Consultant posts to convert into Teaching and Learning Advisers.  This could lead to redundancy.  The NUT has advised the LA that they should now issue a Section 188 notice, in order to allow the avoidance of compulsory redundancy by allowing early retirements.  CSD appears to be resisting this.
  41. County Music Service: The TUs met with Philip Shaw on 7th Jan.  Also present from the LA were Philip Snowdon, from CSD Human Resources, Janet Wellings, head of ISIS (Inspection and School Improvement).  Janet Rowe and MG represented the NUT.  All the Unions were represented except ASCL.
    PS outlined the budgetary situation, which is that, assuming the same level of buy-back as currently applies, the budgets for 2007-8 to 2009-10 should all balance, even after the cuts imposed by Suffolk CC.  These cuts mean that from 2010, there would be no subsidy for CMS coming from the CC budget - everything has to be covered by government grants and money earned by the service selling services to schools etc.
    The budgets can balance thanks to a guaranteed three years of a new grant of £131,000 from Government, DCSF Instrument Grant.
    PS saw this as still being unsatisfactory and that there was a need for further savings, in order to be able to meet the final tranche of cuts in 2010.   Our fear is that any further changes will simply make the service ripe for privatisation.
    We responded that, in fact, the situation was much healthier than we had all feared, and that there was no need to rush into making unnecessary changes elsewhere.
    PS wanted to reopen discussion on a local scale for CMS which would mean a pay cut for those with QTS and increases for unqualified instructors. The NUT reiterated its legal opinion that it would not be allowed to reduce the pay of those on UPS or to seek to pay qualified teachers, doing "specified work" on a contract with the LA, anything other than in accordance with the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions
    PS claimed that the Authority was not accepting this, but they agreed they needed to check it out.  We replied that it would have been a good idea to have checked the legality of the proposals before making them.
    The waters are muddied by an agreement reached in Hertfordshire which does appear to ignore the legalities.  PS's claims that Bedfordshire and Cambs are following Hertfordshire were shown to be at least premature - the NUT in both Authorities report that there have been no such proposals put forward, and that they would resist them as much as Suffolk NUT is doing.
    Of course, if the service were to be privatised, or even if CMS became a "trust", then the contract would no longer be with the LA and the legal objections would fall.  PS claimed that it was never the intention to assist privatisation, and he wanted to apply flexibility in order to stave off worse alternatives.  He wants the CMS to stay within the LA sphere, but says he is having to respond to diktats from his political masters.
    The NUT stated that our bottom line is that no one should find themselves losing pay - any attempt to cut the pay of CMS QTS tutors would be challenged.   PS said that there would be some safeguarding, for three years - this would not alter the NUT's objections
    We would resist with all the resources of the Union any attempt to cut the pay of UPS paid tutors.  It would have to be a different matter with new appointments - the majority of new appointments are non-QTS anyway and we would assume that they would be quite happy to accept a pay increase.  We would advise those with QTS not to apply for any post which was not paying teacher rates, but if they do, and are prepared to accept a non-teaching contract, then there is little we could do.
    The earliest any contractual changes would take place is Sept 2009. Janet Wellings agreed to take back to the Authority our stance and suggestions that no current teacher with QTS should suffer a loss of pay and/or pension.
    They also made a more immediate proposal: to pay all tutors on the same rate for mileage at 40p per mile for the first 10,000 and 25p per mile thereafter.  Most tutors are already on 40p per mile, but some are on casual rate, which can pay up to 55.8p per mile.  However, anything over 40p attracts deductions for tax (at at least 22%) and National Insurance (around 7%).  The difference after these deductions is generally quite small.  However, a few individuals will "lose" a few hundred pounds per year.   Any losses would be mitigated altogether if the recipients pays a higher rate of tax than the standard.
    None of the Unions could justify a differential and in principle support all tutors being paid travel at the teachers' travel rate, of 40p per mile. We therefore recommend that members accept this change, which could save a considerable amount for the CMS and brings all tutors into the same travel expenses payment system.  If accepted, the change would take place from 1st May 2008.
    No member has objected so we have reported to the LA that we agreed to the 40p mileage rate for all.
  42. Complaints Procedures: Secretary met with Director of Scrutiny and Monitoring, Eric Whitfield, on 21st January.  Also present were P Snowdon, Chris Pyburn and Alison Bestow.  Meeting was set up as a result of a Partnership Board agenda item.  TU concern was re. handling of complaints and timescales.  Eric outlined the current practice (as per the "Have your say" booklet "Your chance to comment on, complain or compliment us").  Much work has been done recently, including by CSD on the "G-BIZ" system which is for employees to log complaints and the action taken.  Although such methods are in place so that a complaint can be tracked back, our discussions threw up a lack of "alerts" in the system to indicate where a matter had gone beyond the time limits - 5 days to acknowledge, 20 days for a response.  MG did point out the NUT case which has been waiting 15 months for a reply - this did not, apparently, get onto the system.  Eric will take this up individually. The discussion also went into the statutory complaints procedures used by CYP and schools.  It was noted that the current document is dated 1994 and is not compliant with the standards expected elsewhere, including the Data Protection Act.  Although the statutory complaints procedure is not presently the responsibility of Eric Whitfield, it will be after 1st April.  It was agreed to investigate and to make recommendations to the CYPD for revisions to the guidelines for schools.
  43. Jane Sheat has announced to JNC the intention to up-date Disciplinary, Grievance and Capability procedures.  However, this has been delayed by the repeal of the Disputes Resolution Procedures.
  44. Domestic Violence: MG and Helen Muddock of Unison met today with Shirley Osborne to take forward the corporate policy on dealing with Domestic Violence, including where the victims and alleged perpetrators are SCC employees.
  45. Colneis and Fairfield: There is a proposal to federate these 2 schools.  Staff are concerned and meetings are takiong place to support and gather information.  A report was received at the JNC.  Andrew Guite and Michael Sharman are talking to members. MG also in contact.
  46. Cookley and Walpole: The NUT response to the consultation on the closure of Cookley & Walpole school urged a rethink and to expand the federation arrangement already in situ for Peasenhall and Middleton.  However, the CC has decided to close the school without further ado.  We have one member affected.
  47. blue dotTeachers' Travel Scheme: There have been several problems with over-zealous bursars, etc., imposing some odd conditions for the payment of travel claims, such as refusing to pay for journeys out of county, for car journeys as opposed to rail, and new requirements for petrol VAT receipts.  This was raised with the JNC, but no information was forthcoming on 23rd Jan. The LA promised to find out and circulate.  We live in hope - MG has been attempting to get something in writing from the LA for over 6 months.
  48. Sick-pay for EOTAS and regular supply teachers: the principle has been accepted that those on a regular supply arrangement should be treated as if they had a contract, for such matters as sickness absence.   The final wording still needs to be confirmed and endorsed by the full JNC. However, EOTAS coordinators and Area EPOs should now be aware and payments should be made from now on.
  49. CRB checks for EOTAS and Supply Staff who do not work for 3-months.  Jane Sheat reported to the JNC that the DCSF is adamant that all breaks of 3 months or more must trigger a new CRB check. The officers reported that JS was seeking a response in writing.  If there is no concession, such as when the supply teacher is know to be off sick for a long period, or for a shorter period end-on to the summer holiday, then we must take the matter up with HQ.
  50. blue dotLMS Review: The JNC received a verbal report from Gavin Bultitude on the parts of the LMS review proposals (upon which we commented in the summer) which had been agreed for implementation by the Schools Forum.   Where agreement was reached, this will be reflected in the budget figures for 2008-9.  Unfortunately, on the 2 issues the Union was most anxious to support - removing the SEN audit workload and redressing the Primary - Secondary differentials be making KS2 and KS3 funding more equitable - were not agreed and so there is no change.  An extra £4.4m has, however, been added to the SEN funding (going from £16m to £20m).
  51. School Staff Forum/WAMG: The Authority have revised their guidance to schools on objective setting for teacher performance management.  The main revision is that they have re-inserted advice about "numerical targets".  This discourages numerical targets but says that, if they are considered necessary, they should be expressed as a range, rather than a fixed percentage.  So a phrase such as "the majority of children progress by one or 2 sublevels" would be considered reasonable, but not "70% of the class achieve level 4 or above".   Similar advice warns against using OFSTED criteria for PM observations..
  52. Proposed Term Dates 2009-2010 have been sent to schools.  JNC was omitted from circulation!  Now invited to comment.
    Autumn Term Wed 2 Sept - Fri 23 Oct 2009 38
      Mon 2 Nov - Fri 18 Dec 2009 35
    Spring Term Mon 4 Jan - Fri 12 February 2010 30
      Mon 22 Feb - Thur 1 Apr 29
    Summer Term Mon 19 April - Fri 28 May 29
      Mon 7 June - Thur 22 July 34
    Recommended PD Days: Wed Sept 2nd and Thur July 22nd.  
  53. blue dotPreparation for AGM: Consideration of Agenda format, given that there are no longer Executive meetings beforehand
  54. blue dotPreparation for AGM: Suggested plan of work 2008-9:
    Meetings of the Division Council at 6.30 pm
    • March 13th 2008
    • May 15th 2008   -  Change to May 8th or May 23rd
    • June 19th 2008  -  Change to June 26th
    • September 25th  2008
    • November 13th  2008
    • January 22nd 2009
    • March 12th 2009
    • May 14th 2009
    • June 25th 2009
    Meetings of Secretaries, Treasurers and Membership Secretaries at 6.45 pm:
    • Thursday 3rd  July 2008
    • Thursday 2nd July 2009
  55. blue dotPreparation for AGM: Consideration of Agenda format, given that there are no longer Executive meetings beforehand
  56. Preparation for AGM: President and Vice-President: SE Suffolk nomination for President is Michael Sharman, but MS is not able to make the first 2 meetings, and suggest a "job share" where Andrew Guite presides at the AGM and the next Division meeting.
  57. blue dotMichael also requests a venue which is more easily reached by public transport, such as Ipswich Novotel.
  58. Teacher Representative Report.
  59. Health and Safety: LA still creating difficulties in getting the CYP TU H&S group to meet.  When it eventually happens, this will be Alan Wright's first meeting as Division H&S Adviser.
  60. blue dotPreparation for AGM: Consideration of Agenda format, given that there are no longer Executive meetings beforehandgreenblob Treasurer: Draft proposals for honoraria and expenses allowances for AGM.
  61. Conferences, etc.
    Section D: Local Associations
  62. Ipswich: Ipswich TUC have a public meeting on the decriminalisation of prostitution this evening (hence Roger's apologies). The TUC is hosting this meeting for a number of groups including a woman from New Zealand who is on a speaking tour of the UK at present and was only available for Ipswich on this date. In view of the current court case it was decided to make the most of the opportunity.

Date of next meeting: March 13th (AGM) 2008


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