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These notes are up-dated regularly and not completed / finalised until the day before the next meeting.

Notes for Division Meeting: June 2007

[Previous meeting (May 2007)]


Suffolk Division NUT
Executive Committee (17:30 - 18:30)
and DIVISION COUNCIL MEETING (19:00 - 21:00)

Belstead Brook Hotel, IPSWICH

Thursday June 28th 2007

Apologies already recorded: For EC only: .   For Council / Both:  Paul Brewerton; Glenys Shepherd

greenblob = Items for Executive Committee blue dot = Items for Division Council

Section A: National with National Executive Report


  1. blue dot National Executive Report and Executive News 134 and Executive News 135
  2. Press Release: Letter from Steve Sinnott to Gordon Brown: "Dear Prime Minister, On behalf of the 308,000 members of the National Union of Teachers, the  largest teachers’ organisation in Europe, I warmly congratulate you on  becoming Britain’s new Prime Minister.
    All involved in education will wish you well and look forward to the leadership you can provide in an inclusive national endeavour for opportunities to be available to all youngsters irrespective of their  families’ wealth or income, their race or gender. The National Union of  Teachers stands ready to play its full part in this national endeavour  which must aim to benefit communities and young people everywhere.
    Teachers subscribe fully to the goal of the UK being world class in education. For this to be achieved everyone must appreciate and live up to their responsibilities. This must include politicians, teachers, school support staff, parents, education providers, community leaders, employers in the private and public sectors, and, indeed, students in education. The mobilisation of the whole community in pursuit of the advancement of education is a challenge to which the NUT will be fully committed.
    Prime Minister, the NUT has an enormous wealth of knowledge and experience from which to draw. The Union has a unique record in  promoting positive progress in education. Our policies have enriched the lives of generations of children and young people.
    The National Union of Teachers, therefore, places great value on the opportunity our country now has for all involved in education to re-forge a relationship with government, based on mutual trust, respect and understanding.
    Education can help liberate individuals and whole groups of people. Adverse factors beyond the control of individual schools, but which impact upon a child’s learning, can be tackled by schools working in partnership with others. In this way we welcome the involvement of charities, the voluntary sector, local councils and employers in the development of education and the eradication of poverty.
    Teachers will engage with the concept of linking schools with businesses, colleges and universities. School communities should not fear the involvement of people with energy and passion to provide genuinely new and constructive opportunities for young people.
    I ask, Prime Minister, that you move away from a market approach to education. It is time to end the approach that pits school against school in a competition for children based upon targets, testing and tables. It is time to halt the Government’s academies programme and refresh education thinking with the aim of a good local school for every child.
    Your personal commitment to education is inspirational. Your passion to ensure that, globally, children can go to school is known by teachers across the world. Your goal to raise levels of government spending so that pupils in maintained schools benefit from investment at the same levels as those enjoyed by children and young people in private schools is clear. Teachers will stand shoulder to shoulder with you in using this investment to raise the quality of education and learning that would spring from smaller classes and more individual attention.
    Prime Minister, you have declared that teachers are agents of change, on the front line in tackling issues of social class, poverty, ill health, and inequality generally. This is true. Such a concept fits my favourite definition of the curriculum which emphasises that it is synonymous with change; teachers change lives for the better. Schools everywhere, therefore, need high quality, dedicated, committed and enthusiastic teachers. It is important that we work together to ensure teachers’ pay is not eroded by inflation, and that each teacher has access to professional development that will help maintain morale in the most important of professions. It is only through the enthusiastic commitment of teachers that together we will achieve your aspiration of “the
    biggest expansion in educational opportunity our country has ever seen

    Circulars from HQ, etc:
  3. blue dot 07-100-CCU - BRIEFING FOR DIVISION SECRETARIES: 26 JUNE 2007: Graham attended and will report.
  4. greenblob 07-099-M&C - NUT SCHOOL REPRESENTATIVES: HQ is to maintain a list of all designated School Reps.
  5. 07-098-EEO - MAKING GOOD PROGRESS DFES PILTO SCHEME - UPDATED: Apparently no Suffolk Schools involved.
  6. greenblob 07-097-M&C - SIGNING UP TO HEARTH: Campaign to get more officers and committee members signed up.
  7. 07-096-EEO - GENERAL TEACHING COUNCIL (ENGLAND) AND GENERAL TEACHING COUNCIL (WALES) ELECTIONS 2008: The Union is seeking to identify members who wish to stand for office.
  8. greenblob 07-094-O&A - ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2008: The NUT Annual Conference 2008 will be held at the Manchester Central Conference Centre from 21 to 25 March 2008.
  11. greenblob 07-092-EEO - CAMPAIGNING AGAINST TRUST SCHOOL STATUS: HQ has produced leaflets for parents, , Governors and school staff. Request to Ipswich Association to gear up for potential campaign?
  12. 07-086-EEO - MAKING GOOD PROGRESS DfES PILOT SCHEME in 10 Authorities.
  16. 07-080-M&C - THE GEORGE GUY LIFELONG LEARNING AWARD: Learning representatives who have helped members into learning are eligible to apply.  Any example of learning activity, for example, trade union educational, vocational training, political education or personal development, will be eligible for consideration.  The Award will consist of a £300 bursary, to be spent on books or on course fees to support further study.
  17. 07-079-M&C - CLIVE JENKINS EUROPEAN STUDY BURSARY 2007/08: The TUC Education Trust offer two bursaries of £800 each to enable trade union members to visit a European Union country in 2007/08.
  18. 07-078-H&S - SMOKING BAN 2007: advice for schools - most schools will already be smoke-free zones.
  19. greenblob 07-077-M&C - NUT POCKET DIARY and order form.  The cost of the diary to members is £3.10, including VAT and postage, but where a division/association purchases 50 copies or more, the cost to the division/association will be £2.80, including VAT.
  23. greenblob blue dot 07-073-EEO - BORN TO BE GREAT: A CHARTER ON PROMOTING THE ACHIEVEMENT OF BLACK CARIBBEAN BOYS: this has been copied to the Division's website.
  24. 07-072-SALS - NUT FUNDING SURVEY - HQ asking the impossible once again!
  25. 07-071-SALS - SOULBURY: TRAINEE EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGISTS: details of pay and conditions arrangements for trainee educational psychologists employed under the new three year training route.   NUT concerned about the new training route and asks divisions to approach local MPs to sign a Parliamentary Early Day Motion on this subject.
  26. 07-070-EEO - HOLOCOUST EDUCATION: recent media coverage of a report from The Historical Association implied that the Historical Association alleged that Holocaust Education was to be removed from the National Curriculum.  The Historical Association has made no such claim.  The media coverage was false.  There are no proposals under consideration to remove Holocaust Education from the National Curriculum.
  27. greenblob  07-069-EEO - BLACK TEACHERS' CONFERENCE 2007, Saturday, 3 November and Sunday, 4 November 2007.  £165 per person (NUT members).  
  28. blue dot Forward Planning Notice Strike School Rally, 2 September, Burston, Norfolk. Trade unionists in the East of England will this year be marking the 90th year since the opening of the Burston Strike School building and celebrating trade union and community solidarity. The annual rally has a special significance this year and the Burston Rally Committee is tracking down the heirs of those who built it. Thus the main trade union speaker will be Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT. From April 1916 to December 1917 the National Union of Railwaymen, RMT's predecessor, had raised £288 and 11 shillings – nearly 20 per cent of the total. In addition, Professor Mary Davis, labour historian, will speak (Sylvia Pankhurst was present at the opening of the school building in 1917), as will veteran supporter of the Burston School Strike Rally, Tony Benn. The Committee is particularly pleased to welcome progressive musician Billy Bragg – appearing this year at Burston for the first time.  
    Section B: Regional  
  29. Report to Regional Executive, May 2007
  30. greenblob Des Hart has been appointed to the post of Regional Officer assigned to Suffolk.
  31. greenblob Next Regional Casworkers Surgery is on Monday July 16th.
    Section C: Division
  32. blue dot SOR: Middle School Campaign: Local Stakeholders Group: Secretary sent a circular to all NUT Representatives in the Lowestoft and Haverhill areas inviting members to apply to be representatives for both their school (staff reps) and as the Union representatives, in the Local Stakeholder Forums being set up in each town.  The NUT was disappointed that there is to be just one forum for each town - swamping the desires of the Middle School staff and parents, who are of course the most directly affected.
  33. Local Stakeholder Forums have been set up in Lowestoft and Haverhill as part of the "consultation".  The first meeting has taken place in Lowestoft (Julian Gallagher representing NUT) and Haverhill (Graham White) and they report that the meetings were taken up largely by presentations from the Authority with little opportunity to discuss, debate and fashion ideas.  Fears that the actual decisions will be made by the most influential headteachers and pushed through regardless.
  34. blue dot SOR Circular to Middle School NUT Reps and members.  This sets out the grouping of schools for reorganisation, the timescale for change which for Group 1 is:and invitation to take part in influencing the future structure

    Group 1

    Lowestoft and Haverhill

    Group 2

    Beccles, Bungay, Leiston, Mildenhall and Newmarket

    Group 3 Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Thurston and Stowmarket

    Plan for changes

    Yr groups stay as normal

    Curriculum planning, logistics

        First changes

    e.g. Yr 5 remains in primary school

    Second changes:

    e.g. Y6 remains in primary school

    Middle Schools part of high schools

    A second circular has been sent to other schools in three tier areas indicating the effects of Middle School closure on First and Upper/High Schools.
  35. blue dot SOR - Staffing Protocol.  The draft as of 24/5/7 was produced for the JNC on 13th June.  NUT successfully pointed out that staff need information about the new structure, included potential for promoted posts, before deciding on their future career choices.  The Protocol currently includes:
    1. The first requirement is that (receiving) schools must agree a staffing structure, in consultation with staff and the County Council (i.e. management structure).
    2. Middle School Staff will be asked to indicate a preference for phase and, initially, key stage (and subject, where appropriate).
    3. MS Staff will be provided with details of vacancies in all Suffolk schools.
    4. Staff will be slotted in to commensurate posts wherever possible.
    5. Three-tier schools will “ring fence” all vacancies for permanent staff employed in those schools.  Ring fencing means that all vacancies will initially be open only to staff from schools which are closing. 
    6. In the period immediately before closure, middle schools will work closely with primary and high schools and seek, as far as possible, to make permanent joint and/or shared appointments to primary and/or high schools. If this is not possible, they will make appointments on a fixed term or secondment basis.  In exceptional circumstances, the County Council may agree to permanent appointments being made in the interests of school leadership and school improvement.
    7. The County Council will consider funding requests from schools to offer staff retention incentives and benefits.
  36. blue dot Unitary Ipswich: The NUT has submitted its formal response to the proposals on a Unitary Ipswich on 20th June, the deadline being 22nd.   We have received an acknowledgement.  Ipswich NUT circulated to schools, and Suffolk NUT circulated to Ipswich Headteachers, the replies from IBC to our questions on their intentions for a Unitary Authority.   A second press release was also issued.  Michael Lord MP has enquired about the NUT's views and has received copies. A letter in the EADT in claimed that Ipswich BC had met with the NUT.  In fact, IBC had failed to respond to an invitation to the Ipswich NUT meeting on ** May.  Eventually, after a request from the NUT, they agreed to meet with us but not until June 19th. Margaret Bulaitis, Graham White and Martin Goold met with Tracey Lee and Nick Jarman.  Nick is a former Director of Education in various authorities including Reading and Hackney.   He claimed that there was no agenda to privatise, outsource or go for Academies and repeated the general statements in their bid.  However, in answer to the detailed questions we had little apart from more generalisations and prejudices.  He claimed that there was "huge" duplication within Suffolk County Council and was scathing about the Area Office structure.  However, he also admitted that the prime motive was that Ipswich did not get its fair share of resources (according to need) because Suffolk takes money away from Ipswich to spend on rural areas.  Nick has received a copy of our response and was clearly disappointed that he had not managed to change significantly the views worked out over recent weeks.  Copies sent to Michael Lord, John Gummer, Tim Yeo and Chris Mole.
  37. greenblob There is clear evidence, supported by discussions with Ipswich BC, that Holywells High is looking at the possibility of becoming an Academy.  The NUT needs to get information to members to help campaign against.
  38. blue dot PPA: Suffolk LA has agreed and distributed to schools guidance on PPA in the form of FAQs on PPA.  It includes the stipulation that those teaching classes while the class teacher is taking PPA, must be capable of planning, delivering and assessment the work from those lessons.  Suffolk NUT has sent a circular to Reps on cover for PPA, underlining the Local Authority and TDA's wording and asking headteachers to ensure that timetables for September only employ staff capable of undertaking "specified work" for PPA relief, and that NUT members should therefore never be expected to plan, prepare or assess the work done by others during the time they are taking their PPA. Some NAHT headteachers have objected to our circular which was very explicit, but admit that our advice is correct.   They say that they know that they should not employ TAs to take PPA if they cannot prepare the lessons themselves, but say that they do not have enough money to do otherwise.  One headteacher said that it was "unhelpful" of the NUT to point this out and that the NUT should lobby the DfES for more money. Secretary replied that the NUT was the only Union that refused to sign the agreement because we knew this would happen, and the NAHT, etc., had accepted the Workforce Agreement, including the acceptance that there was sufficient money going to schools to pay for HLTAs to do the PPA.  An often forgotten quotation from the RIG guidance on PPA cover is included in the LA's FAQs:
    (Some) HLTAs find themselves teaching whole classes all or most of the time because they are exclusively deployed during the PPA time of different teachers. This means that the HLTA is effectively working as a teacher.  This, however, is not the role of the HLTA who is an assistant to a teacher or department, even though she works in a more independent role compared to other TAs.
  39. greenblob Local Organisation Reorganisation in Suffolk: Rosalind Turner writes in the CYP News 29/5/7:

    From 1 July, a number of direct services for children and families and support to schools will transfer into the area teams, and will be directly line managed through the Area Directors (Allan Cadzow in the south, Sally Simpkin in the North and Vanessa Harvey-Samuel in the West).  This is in line with our agreed direction of travel of bringing together services for children, young people, families and carers, and support for schools, delivered as close as possible to local communities through our 18 community clusters and our school pyramids.

    The transfer of services into the area teams is also consistent with the Securing the Future programme, creating a streamlined commissioning team at the centre of the organisation. This central team will support the Children's Trust to ensure combined governance, strategy and commissioning of all children's services in Suffolk.We are working closely with health, the police, and our borough and district colleagues to ensure this applies to all children's services, and not just those provided by the county council.  
    The aim is to improve access and outcomes for children and young people and support for families and carers and, and access to universal services (such as GPs and schools) to ensure they can meet the needs of the children they are responsible for. We have not made permanent appointments to the Area Manager: Direct Services to Children and Young People and Area Manager: Schools and Community posts. Instead, we have extended the Interim Area Service Leads until 31 December 2007 while we work through the final organisational arrangements for the direct delivery of the local authority's services for children.  
  40. blue dot A Circular on High Temperatures has been circulated to all schools.  This stipulates, in accordance with NUT Conference Policy, that contingency plans should be put in place to seek alternative teaching space when classroom temperatures reach 26ºC. The NUT policy formed the basis of a paper to JNC on June 13th.  The Authority have undertaken to look at their policy and seek to support schools in dealing with high temperatures.  However, a meeting of the CYP TU H&S group on 27th June was told that the Authority would only support the HSE policy that a working temperature of 13-30ºC is acceptable!  So once again we will be on our own!
  41. One school which has made reductions in staffing via a Section 188 notice is now expecting the nursery class to be taught all afternoons by a Nursery Nurse and TA.
  42. blue dot Advice from Suffolk NUT about dealing with internet abuse of teachers by pupils has been published on the INTERNET.  It is being checked by Legal Dept before being circulated to Reps and the Authority.   There have been 2 very upsetting cases in the last month of pupils abusing their teachers on un-monitored internet sites.   The June 13th JNC meeting welcomed the NUT approach.   The NUT is seeking the cooperation of the Police and Local Authority in pursuing any case of such abuse, including tracking down the originating computers and requiring providers to ensure that offending comments are removed.   We expect perpetrators to be arrested and cautioned.   Police are visiting the schools affected and addressing all pupils.  The NUT has invoked the guidelines on Joint Police-LEA action to ensure that the police give particular attention to assaults, etc., against public servants.
  43. Soulbury Negotiations: The panel of LA officers with the NUT, ASPECT and AEP are close to agreeing a document for consultation with members concerning the award of Structured Professional Assessments 1-3 (SPAs) in Suffolk.  This will ensure that all those paid on Soulbury will have access to these performance related extra incremental points.  Talks on future contracts for those Advisory Teachers and Headteachers paid on AST scales will resume shortly, but the Authority is now accepting that those who made the option to stay within the Teachers' Pension scheme in 2003 can remain in the TPS until retirement, while continuing the same kind of work.  All new appointments, however, will be to Soulbury pay and conditions.  As well as rates of pay and pension entitlements, Soulbury staff may have less holiday entitlement.
  44. County Music Service: Still no response from PS to the joint union letter sent in May.
  45. greenblob Helen Spurling has been appointed as Area HR Manager (Schools) in Southern Area with effect 23rd April 2007.  Helen will work on Mondays and Tuesdays and Jane Newall will be working on Tuesdays to Fridays.  Area Personnel Officers have been redesignated Area HR Managers (Schools) in each area.
  46. blue dot Section 188 Notices: Notice issued for Ickworth Park, w.e.f. Dec 31st.  Only the NUT questioned the need for this notice and put forward counter proposals.  The Governors have now withdrawn the notice and any redundancy is postponed until Sept 2008.   Notice at Stradbroke High withdrawn following a member leaving for a new post elsewhere.   Notice at Badwell Ash has been extended to December 31st because no action had been taken to select.  NUT had proposed a federation to enable 2 or more school budgets to be combined to save this school which does not have enough pupils or role to sustain 3 teachers full time, including a headteacher.  At Langer a volunteer has been accepted but the Union remains concerned at the consequences and is continuing representations.
  47. Proposal to "Federate" First Base Ipswich and Alderwood PRU.  Proposal is to appoint an "Executive" head of the 2 units, and to enhance the position of the 2 deputy posts.  There are concerns that this could hamper the mix of on-site and out-reach work.   NUT was concerned that there had been no consultation or information and referred the matter to JNC.  So there will now be a meeting for all Unions and staff on July 13th.
  48. Group tuition settings: The LA has agreed that any teacher regularly employed and committed to a group tuition setting will receive sick pay as if they were on contract (i.e. standard pay without the 30% addition). 
  49. David Shorten is looking into EOTAS for Suffolk CC, including the way PRUs, group tuition settings and school-based collaborative arrangements work.  There are 2 big schemes of collaboration under way: One involving Northgate, Copleston and Holywells, the other as part of the Waveney partnership.  Existing staff of the schools involved are being used to set up "inclusive" ways of dealing with pupils at risk of exclusion, from their own resources.
  50. greenblob A S Area High School has balloted in favour of action to support 2 members who would suffer as a result of loss of Management Allowances in the new structure.  Talks have taken place in order to try to resolve the issues. Action has been suspended pending the outcome of talks.
  51. Notschool: disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act has been received.  Further information will be sought. 
  52. Confirmed term dates for 2008-9 have been posted on the website.
  53. greenblob School Reps' Training Sessions are being organised for 29th June (Beccles, Waveney House Hotel) and 12th July (Ipswich Novotel).
  54. greenblob Christine Lloyd has organised an "end of term" and congratulations session for our SCITT students on July 16th at Novotel.
  55. Tony Dooley has not been appointed to the National Working Party on Disability.  No one is sure how the WP members were selected. 
  56. Michael Sharman has indicated that he will still not be available to take up the post of President in 2008-9, so we must seek an alternative representative from SE Suffolk.
  57. Teacher Representative: Andrew Guite to report.
  58. Treasurer: apologies sent - please complete the travel claim.
  59. greenblob Conferences, etc :

  60. Section D: Local Associations

Date of next meeting: 27th September 2007


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