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Suffolk Division NUT

Information for Division Council Meeting (18:30 - 21:00)

Belstead Brook Hotel, Ipswich

Wednesday January 19th 2011

Circulars from HQ, etc: 
  1. Appeal from Christine Blower: The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) helps disadvantaged young people to stay in education and fulfil their potential. Yet the Government has taken the disgraceful decision to axe it, leaving hundreds of thousands of young learners worse off and meaning that many colleges will face falling student enrolment.  On Wednesday 19 January there will be a debate in Parliament on the EMA. Will you join me in asking your MP to value the potential of our young people and vote to save the EMA?  Click here to ask your MP to vote to save the EMA on 19 January. If you are able to personalise your email and include reasons why the EMA is important to you as a teacher or parent then your MP will be more likely to take your views seriously.  For further details and information on how you can help support the joint union campaign to save the EMA please go to http://emacampaign.org.uk
  2. Appeal on Pensions from HQ:  The Government wants you to:

    There is no need for further pension cuts. Since 2007, all teachers are paying more, new members must wait till 65 for their pensions and cost-sharing arrangements will limit costs to Government in the long term.  Powerful new evidence from the National Audit Office and the Pensions Policy Institute shows that pensions costs are under control. The NAO declares that the 2007 changes are "on course to deliver substantial savings". The PPI calculates that, taken together, those changes and the RPI to CPI switch will cut the value of public sector pensions by around 25%.  Lord Hutton says he rejects any "race to the bottom" which would push workers into reliance on State benefits. The PPI says that any further cuts risk doing exactly that.  The NUT is building alliances. Join us at the TUC national rally in defence of pay, pensions and public services on 26 March 2011.  See www.teachers.org.uk/notocuts.

  3. Executive News Dec 2011
  4. 11-001-S&C - CAMPAIGNS IN OPPOSITION TO CUTS AFFECTING YOUNG PEOPLE: ATL, GMB, NUS, NUT, UCU, UNISON, Unite and, latterly, the NASUWT are working together on a campaign to persuade the Government to reverse the proposed cut to Education Maintenance Allowances. A Union Parliamentary event was held on Tuesday, 11 January 2011 attended by over 130 people. Speakers included: Andy Burnham MP; Lisa Nandy MP; Caroline Lucas MP; Lisa Alexander – Student in receipt of EMA at Havering Sixth Form College; Eddie Playfair, Principal, Newham Sixth Form College; Polly Toynbee; and Simon Hughes MP Andy Burnham announced that the Labour front bench had managed to secure a full day Opposition Day Debate on EMAs at the end of which a vote will be taken.  The debate and vote will take place on Wednesday, 19 January 2011.  He said it is rare for a Government to allow a whole day’s debate on one issue and is testament to the campaign so far.
  5. 11-005-OM - TRACY ISAAC: MOVE TO WESLEYAN
  6. 11-004-E&E - LGBT HISTORY MONTH FEBRUARY 2011: CHALLENGING HOMOPHOBIA
  7. 11-003-O&M - NATIONAL TRAINING COURSES FOR LOCAL OFFICERS
  8. 11-001-S&C - CAMPAIGNS IN OPPOSITION TO CUTS AFFECTING YOUNG PEOPLE
  9. 10-221-RM - CONFERENCE MOTIONS 2011: ARRANGEMENT OF AGENDA – FORM 110
  10. 10-220-RM - ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2011 - HARROGATE : FRIDAY, 22 APRIL TO TUESDAY, 26 APRIL 2011: creche and observer credentials, CBC nominations.
  11. 10-219-S&C - EDUCATION FUNDING:DfE ANNOUNCEMENT ON LOCAL AUTHORITY AND SCHOOL FUNDING IN ENGLAND FOR 2011-2015: 13th Dec : DfE set out funding allocations for local authorities and schools in England. An upward revision in Government inflation forecasts means that the total funding allocation for schools, including the funding per pupil allocation and the new Pupil Premium, will now be lower in real terms compared to previous years, not the marginal real terms increase proclaimed during the October Spending Review announcement.  The introduction of the Pupil Premium, which will not be distributed evenly, will mean that the majority of schools lose funding in real terms and its low level means that the impact will be negligible in those schools which do benefit.  Key points:

    The freezing of school funding per pupil in cash terms for the whole of the period 2011-12 to 2014-15 means year-on-year real terms cuts in this element of school funding as inflation erodes the value of the frozen cash allocations. As independent analysis has shown, these real terms cuts will be only partly alleviated by the Pupil Premium which will not be distributed evenly among schools.  The Institute for Fiscal Studies has previously estimated that 60 per cent of primary students and 87 per cent of secondary students will be in schools where real funding is cut. The minimum funding guarantee announced by the DfE will provide only limited protection, with individual school budgets potentially being cut by up to 1.5 per cent even before the impact of inflation.

    The provisions with regard to mainstreaming grants require LAs to take account of previous grant levels in order that allocation formulae do not create excessive funding turbulence at a time when many schools will already be under financial pressure.  The NUT is circulating separate information in relation to EMAG and Traveller education funding, advising Divisions that the proposal to require delegation of all EMAG funding to schools is not likely to proceed and that a continuing power to retain some EMAG funding centrally is anticipated.

  12. 10-218-EEPD - EMPLOYMENT OF ETHNIC MINORITY ACHIEVEMENT (EMA) TRAVELLER EDUCATION AND REFUGEE AND ASYLUM SEEKER SUPPORT TEACHERS: EMAG is one of a number of grants the Secretary of State has highlighted for mainstreaming into the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG).  Currently EMAG is a ring-fenced grant.  LAs can retain up to a maximum of 15 per cent of their allocation or £150,000, whichever is the greater.  This allows LAs to retain a central EMA service using centrally-employed teachers.  Distribution of the remaining allocation to schools is on a locally determined but needs-based, fair and transparent basis.The draft School Finance 2011 regulations propose to enable local authorities to retain EMAG within the Schools Budget if EMAG is mainstreamed into the DSG.  The NUT believes that LA retention of EMAG is essential as a minimum protection both for central EMA services, and Traveller education services.  Indeed, the NUT has argued in its response to the draft regulations that LAs should be compelled to hold EMAG centrally.  The 15 per cent/£150,000 limit features in separate Government advice on the Standards Fund rather than in either the existing or draft School Finance regulations, but this limit may well be left in place. See assistant secretary's report.
  13. 10-217-RM - ELECTIONS FOR NATIONAL DISCIPLINARY PANEL, NATIONAL APPEALS COMMITTEE AND NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEES 2011-2015
  14. 10-216-EEPD - THE TRANSFER OF "SCHOOLS CAUSING CONCERN" TO ACADEMY STATUS: The Secretary of State wrote to all LAs 4 Nov to ask them “to consider more schools for academy status where both attainment and pupil progression are low and where schools lack the capacity to improve themselves”.  He also indicated that schools where:

    •        the most recent Ofsted judgement was “satisfactory” but concerns about the school’s capacity to improve, leadership or governance had been identified;

    •        recent results were satisfactory but there was a record of low attainment over time; or

    •        secondary pupils achieved poorly in comparison with schools with similar intakes should be included in local authorities’ considerations of transfer to academy status.

    The Academies Act 2010 enables the Secretary of State to make an Academy Order in respect of any school that is eligible for intervention. “Eligible for intervention” is defined as any school which Ofsted has judged to require special measures or a notice to improve, or any school which has failed to respond to a local authority warning notice.

  15. 10-215-RM - JEANE RICHARDSON: a former long-serving member of staff at NUT Headquarters who, up to her retirement in 2008, was PA to the President, died on 8 December after a very lengthy illness.
  16. 10-214-S&C - The False Economy site at www.falseeconomy.org.uk is TUC backed and
  17. 10-213-S&C - OFFICERS' GENERIC EMAIL ON HEARTH
  18. 10-212-OM - NUT LEARNING REPRESENTATIVES PROJECT: 2011 TRAINING COURSE
  19. 10-211-EEPD - EDUCATION REVIEW.
  20. 10-210-EEPD - HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY: MONDAY, 31 JANUARY 2011
  21. 10-209-RM - ELECTIONS FOR NATIONAL DISCIPLINARY PANEL, NATIONAL APPEALS COMMITTEE AND NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEES 2011-2015
  22. 10-208-SC - CAMPAIGN ON TUITION FEES AND CUTS TO UNIVERSITY FUNDING
  23. 10-207-SC - SAVE EDUCATION MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCES – JOINT UNION CAMPAIGN
  24. 10-206-ECR - WORKLOAD CAMPAIGN – FOCUS ON PLANNING IN SPRING TERM 2011: Spring term’s activities were announced in the November/December issue of ‘The Teacher’, which also requested that good examples of school planning policies be sent to the Editor.  A new flier and poster highlighting key points for a school planning protocol will be sent to all schools in January
  25. 10-205-RM - NUT STAFF VACANCIES – SENIOR AND REGIONAL UNION ORGANISERS: EXTENSION TO CLOSING DATE AND ADDITIONAL LOCATIONS
  26. 10-203-EEPD - EMPLOYMENT OF QUALIFIED TEACHERS IN CHILDREN’S CENTRES: the Minister for Children, Sarah Teather’s, recent announcement that Children’s Centres will no longer be obliged to hire staff with both Qualified Teacher and Early Years Professional (EYP) status.  The Union is currently trying to clarify exactly what Sarah Teather meant by the announcement, as there has never been a requirement for Children’s Centres to employ both a qualified teacher and an EYP.  The previous Government had an “aspirational” target of one EYP in every Children’s Centre by 2010, which resulted in a number of members being “encouraged” by their employer to gain EYP status, but this was not and has never been a statutory requirement on Centres.

    The statutory staffing requirements and ratios for all early years settings, including Children’s Centres, are set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework document.  The EYFS is currently under review but recommendations about any changes to the statutory requirements are not due until spring 2011 and would need primary legislation to alter.

    There should be no immediate action on the Minister for Children’s announcement by Centres or by local authorities, therefore, as not only would this breach statutory staffing ratios, it would also contravene one of the key conditions for the funding of the free entitlement to early education and care for 3 and 4 years, that settings comply in full with the EYFS requirements.

    The Union’s current guidance on statutory early years staffing ratios clearly states that Children’s Centres must employ either a qualified teacher or an EYP, dependent on whether the Centre is in the maintained or the private, voluntary and independent sectors. The guidance is available on the NUT websites www.teachers.org.uk and on Hearth at: School Sector Policy>Early Years.

  27. 10-204-RM - NUT STAFF VACANCY – REGIONAL OFFICER: MIDLANDS
  28. 10-202-EEPD - THE TRANSFER OF “SCHOOLS CAUSING CONCERN” TO ACADEMY STATUS: see 10-216 above.
  29. 10-201-EE&PD - CUTS TO LOCAL AUTHORITY CENTRAL SERVICES: ADDTIONAL INFORMATION ON THE ETHNIC MINORITY ACHIEVMENT GRANT AND TRAVELLER EDUCATION SERVICES: survey.  See 10-218 above.

Assistant Secretary's Report

  1. SOR vacancy management: SOR HR appear to have gone back on the agreement we reached on their proposal to abandon the practice of targeting individual staff for individual vacancies. On November 3rd, SOR HR asked all the unions to agree to change the process "with immediate effect" to allow individuals to choose which posts they were interested in.  Vacancies would be circulated to all Middle School staff and a mechanism would be found to ensure that all staff could access the vacancies list.  All the unions readily agreed to this and MG sent out a Circular to NUT Reps in Middle Schools, Nov 2010  reporting this agreement.  But on Nov 18th. at the County SOR Group meeting, SOR HR presented a slightly amended version instead of the agreed version, which tried to introduce an element of compulsion once again, that Middle School teachers would be sent questionnaires asking them why they did not apply for certain posts. The NUT objected and it was referred back for further discussion.  As yet, nothing has emerged.
  2. Teaching Post Vacancies and Centrally Employed Staff: MG has lodged with Simon White the question of Centrally Employed staff with QTS (in ISIS, METAT, etc) who are now facing redundancy and seeking alternative posts, perhaps within schools.  In December, MG proposed that ISIS staff being declared redundant in December, be included in the vacancy management process which is currently ring-fencing all teaching posts (via the Staffing Protocol) to allow only MS teachers to apply in the first instance.  This means that highly qualified teachers who have been working in the Advisory Service are actually excluded from applying for teaching posts, because they are not able to access the vacancy lists.  SOR HR (why them?) have declared that ISIS staff, etc. will only be fed information on teaching posts if they are not filled by applicants from Middle Schools.
  3. The Cuts: ISIS. Those unsuccessful in obtaining a post in the new structure were declared redundant in December, w.e.f. March 31st 2011 in most cases.  Some extensions have been agreed for individual reasons, including where funding of the post actually continues to August 31st.  Some ISIS staff have obtained posts in schools, despite (2) above - largely because Heads have been seeking to employ very well qualified and experienced staff they already know, and have ignored the Staffing Protocol.
  4. METAT: Consultation continues as to how many higher-level posts should be included, but we have not got the LA to go back on their proposal to dismiss all the Gypsy Roma and Traveller Teachers, who are all to be made redundant.  Although the LA accepted our contention that liaison between school and GRT communities was essential to keep these children attending school and to keep up in particular with the mobile fairground families (a job done so superbly at present by the GRT teachers), the LA will only replace this role with 2 non-teaching posts, on a par with EWO.  We are most concerned that this is an impossible job for someone without the GRT teacher's skills and experience.  Some extra money might be found by keeping back some 1:1 money and having just 1 outreach EWO, and this might enable a fifth Adviser to be appointed, reducing the potential redundancy numbers.  The LA says Government are now clearly intending schools to make their own provision in this area, including Black Achievement.
  5. Healthy Schools: There is very little understanding from the elected members and CYP of the nature of the work done by this team whose work is now considered of "low priority", no doubt because the funding is stopping in March.  However, the work of this team is preventative work in teenage pregnancy, child obesity, drug abuse and emotional wellbeing.  The powers that be do not appear to appreciate the importance of preventative education as opposed to "early intervention" - which actually only occurs when the trouble has started!  We are convinced that to lose this team's expertise at a time that Public Health is being transferred from the NHS to SCC, is particularly ill considered and likely to turn out to be a false economy.  We are seeking to integrate this work - and at least some of the team - into what is supposed to be an "integrated service" for CYP and to allow these staff to apply for posts elsewhere within the Authority to carry on doing their important roles.
  6. SEN/CWAN - Apart from a large consultation meeting on 8th December, it has been difficult to discern what was emerging from discussions behind closed doors.  In the case of the Sensory and Communications ATs, we were aware of meetings going on discussing a completely different set of proposals to the ones shown in the staff briefings.  The NUT raised concerns re. what was being suggested, because it appeared to indicate a return of ATs back to Teachers' Pay and Conditions, just weeks after their transfer to Soulbury had actually been effected, at the insistence of the LA!  We have also, in the process, heard that 2 recently appointed ATs have been appointed to Teachers' Pay (and Conditions) who are in effect doing the same work as those on Soulbury.  The latest information is that they are returning to their original proposals and few, if any, redundancies are now expected.  We do not believe this would have happened without our vigilance and challenge.
  7. Early Years and Child Care: The NUT has been pressing the LA to publish their rationale for down-grading the post of Early Years Consultants from Soulbury Advisory Teacher range, to a Single Status range one or two grades below.  The JPPs so far issued with gradings indicate that this is based on the principle, which the NUT cannot accept, that the Early Years Professional Status is the equivalent of QTS. On Jan 10th, we challenged Simon White to defend this policy and to indicate, if these two sets of status were considered to be equivalent, why was the pay of one so much lower than the other?  We are pointing out that EYPS is not a qualification as such, it can be awarded after just a few weeks "on the job" experience and at no point in their training is there any classroom practice or observation.  In January, there are a dozen meetings of the EYCC teams with union reps.  In 4 of these, the agenda has been for the EYCC teams to tell the Workforce Development team the detail of what they actually do.  When MG pointed out that this would have been better done before the LA published their new structure and the JPPs, this caused some irritation!  But it is clear that few of the top management understand the complexity of the EY Consultant role, and the reasons why it requires QTS (e.g. moderation of Foundation Stage, action plans, SCITT, NQT training, etc).
  8. Teachers in Children's Centres: although the future of Children's Centres is safe for the time being, the LA has decided to remove (i.e. make redundant) the Qualified Teachers who are employed there w.e.f. April 30th, just one year after making all those appointments. The LA is (mis)quoting the Government's pronouncement (see above) that Children's Centres will no longer have to employ staff with both EYPS and QTS.  The LA, realising that EYPS staff are cheaper than QTS lost no time in taking away the Teachers (which other Authorities employed from the start of Children Centres).  There is some possibility of some of the CC teachers filling vacancies in the new EY teams, but if the "equivalence" of EYPS and QTS is conceded, many more less qualified staff would be able to apply for the new EY Consultant posts.  We are challenging this equivalence and will be submitting evidence based on the EPPE study which clearly indicates the effect on standards of employing Qualified Teachers in EY settings.  We are also pointing out that all other consultants, in Primary and Secondary, are on Soulbury - to refuse to do this for EYs will be once again indicating that EYs does not need the same qualifications and experience as other teachers.
  9. CYP Consultation on the cuts: There have been many meetings but not that much information. On Nov 16th, MG asked CYP Directorate for a list of the present posts in each directorate alongside the posts in the proposed structure, so that everyone could see clearly their chances, etc. and we could determine the workloads, etc.  MG has requested this at every meeting since. On Jan 10th we were promised it by Jan 17th. Nothing has arrived, of course.  We have had the JPPs, but often without the grading.

Date of next meeting: AGM March 9th 2011 The Brewery Tap, Ipswich

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