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Notes for June 2008

[Previous meeting May 2008]


Suffolk Division NUT

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


Thursday June 26th 2008

Venue: Belstead Brook Hotel, Ipswich

Apologies already recorded: Peter Byatt, Paul Widdowson.

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

Section A: National with National Executive Report

  1. blue dot National Executive Report: Kendra Deacon: Kendra's written report.
  2. Executive News 143
  3. Executive News 144
  4. Pay Campaign: Graham White to report on Div Secs' Briefing.
  5. Press release: Commenting on the CEER report The Diploma: A Disaster Waiting To Happen?, Christine Blower, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Europe’s largest teaching union said; “In his attack on diplomas, Alan Smithers has betrayed his deep pessimism about young people’s futures. He clearly believes that young people are sorted in to the ‘sheep and goats’ of academic and vocational routes very early on. Yet there is no evidence that this is the case. His argument for depositing diplomas into the vocational box is a policy which will hardly encourage young people to value life-long education. He has also magnificently missed the point. Teachers support diplomas but they are deeply concerned about the operational implications of their introduction. The first year of the diplomas should be seen as a pilot in which lessons are learnt, not as a fixed roll-out.  It is resources and time which teachers need for the diplomas, not inaccurate criticism of their value.
  6. blue dotPress Release: Commenting on Ed Balls’ announcement on the ‘poorest performing secondary schools’, Christine Blower, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Europe’s largest teaching union said; “While at long last the Government appears to have recognised that it is better to provide support and resources to schools in the toughest areas, I cannot understand the logic of saying that 29% of pupils with 5 GCSE A-C represents failure and 31% signifies success. I urge him to drop the phrase ‘poorest performing schools’. It is unfair and inaccurate. Very many have good inspection reports.  If Ed Balls is to provide meaningful support to the 638 secondary schools he has identified he has to lift the threat of school closure for failing to meet arbitrary targets.  No head teacher or teacher mindful of their career will join a National Challenge school if they think it will be closed and turned into an Academy in the following year.  We have to make sure that teachers working in these schools will do so because they believe their commitment will be recognised and their careers will be enhanced not undermined”.
  7. blue dotSecond Press Release: Christine Blower, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Europe’s largest teaching union said; “On deeper analysis, the Government’s condemnation of 638 secondary schools is even more shocking and random than first appeared.  Only 11 per cent of schools in the sample were considered by OFSTED to need the intervention and threats now being employed by the Government.  Indeed, it is extraordinary that 26 per cent of the schools in our analysis are considered to be amongst the best in the country and around a third are in the top 40 per cent.  A further 50 per cent are considered to be satisfactory; a term in any normal dictionary definition which means that although there is room for improvement, those schools are meeting their pupils’ needs.  It seems to me that the Government has decided to junk its recent attempts to introduce a measure of sophistication into evaluating schools in favour of a crude headline grabbing measure to try to show that it is tough on standards.  The support outlined in the National Challenge programme will be obscured by this injustice.  Teachers and head teachers will be very wary of wanting to join schools that could be threatened with closure.  I have written to our members and to all head teachers in the 638 schools expressing the NUT’s solidarity with them.  The NUT will not stand by and watch the vilification of school communities and the intolerable pressure put on Heads and teachers as a result of the Government’s arbitrary actions.  School closures will be resisted and members will be protected from any excessive workload demands created by the National Challenge programme”.
  8. Circulars from HQ, etc: 


    Part-time:  Each school will calculate the proportion of time a part-time teacher works against the school’s timetabled teaching week (STTW).  The STTW refers to the school session hours that are timetabled for teaching, including PPA time and other non-contact time but excluding:
                •           break times;
                •           registration; and
                •           assemblies.

    The STTW of a full-time classroom teacher is to be used as the figure for calculating the percentage of the STTW for a part-time teacher at the school.

    For example, if the school day, excluding registration and assembly, runs from 9.00am to 12.15pm and again from 1.15pm to 3.30pm with one 15 minute break in the morning session and one 15 minute break in the afternoon session, the school’s timetabled teaching week would be calculated as; morning session = 3 hours, afternoon session = 2 hours, whole day = 5 hours, STTW = 25 hours.

    If a part-time classroom teacher in the example above (including excellent teachers and unqualified teachers) were employed at the school in question for mornings only, working 9.00am to 12.15pm every day, their percentage of the STTW would be calculated as 15 hours per week, 60% of full-time (15/25).  Such a part-time teacher on M5 (proposed England and Wales full-time salary rate of £27,939, Sept 2008) working at 60% of full-time would be entitled to a part-time salary of £16,763 (60% of £27,939).  The same percentage is used to calculate the `directed time’ hours, so 60% of the 1265 hours of a full-time teacher amount to 759 hours directed time for the part-time teacher.  A straightforward deduction of the `directed time’ hours required for the STTW across the school year (585 hours, or 15 hours per week multiplied by 39 weeks) provides the remaining available `directed time’ for the part-time teacher in the school year (759-585=174 hours).  A similar calculation is proposed for AST, leadership, etc. not subject to the 1265 hour rule.  There appears to be no mention of the number of days worked by part-timers.

    Supply: the total payment to each teacher for each day worked to be the same as at present i.e., 1/195 of the appropriate annual salary.  The total payment for each day worked will, however, be broken down in future into two separate payments.  The first will represent payment for work done, calculated on the basis of 195 working days.  The second will represent payment for statutory annual holiday entitlement, with a further complication added by the fact that the current statutory entitlement of 24 days rises to 28 days from 1 April 2009.

    From 1 September 2008, the daily payment will be divided into two elements.  The division of the payment will be on the basis of 195 working days plus 24 days’ holiday i.e., 219 days.  The two elements of the daily payment will, therefore, be in the ratio of 195/219 for work done and 24/219 for holiday pay.

    From 1 April 2009, when the increased annual holiday entitlement of 28 days takes effect, the daily payment will be divided on the basis of 195 working days plus 28 days’ holiday i.e., 223 days.  The two elements of the daily payment will then be in the ratio of 195/223 for work done and 28/223 for annual holiday.  There will not, however, be any change in the total daily payment.
    08-112-M&C blue dotNUT UNION DIARIES 2008-2009
    08-110-EEO blue dotNUT LGBT TEACHERS' CONFERENCE: 17-18 OCTOBER 2008
    08-108-EEO blue dotTeaching Citizenship Through Human Rights Conference
    08-107-SALS blue dotDeductions From Pay For Industrial Action: NEOST is confirming that the deduction should be 1/365 for a day's strike action.   The LA has relented over part-day strikes where a teacher went into work for part of a day to protect examinations, etc.  Part-timers should still be deducted 1/365 of their annual part-time salary.
    08-106-CCU Division Secretaries' Briefing: Tuesday, 17 June 2008: Graham White attended.
    08-105-M&C Retention of Members Retiring from the Profession: Update
    08-103-CCU blue dotCELEBRATION FOR STEVE SINNOTT: 21 JUNE 2008: Graham White attended
    08-102-M&C blue dotSPECIAL SUBSCRIPTION RATE OFFER FOR NEW JOINERS: new members can join for free - no payment until February 2009.  Features on our Suffolk NUT website.
    08-094-CCU Political Fund
    08-095-M&C blue dotNUT POCKET DIARY 2008-2009
    08-092-EEO blue dotNational Union Of Teachers’ Survey: 14-19 Reforms And 14-19 Gateway Summary Of Findings - has informed our response to SCC (see below)
  9. From CASE: greenblob blue dotrequest for payment of subscription for 2007 which appears to have been overlooked.
    Section B: Regional  
  1. Des Hart to report.
  2. Des has undertaken a "health check" of the Division with Div Sec.
    Section C: Division
  3. blue dotLocal Press Release from Suffolk NUT: on National Challenge Schools, which listed Chantry, Denes and Holywells High and Castle Manor College as the "worst performing schools".  Our press release pointed out that OFSTED had graded three of these schools as "good", and the fourth as satisfactory. Link to full press releaseSee comments from Christine Blower in National Report.
  4. blue dotSOR: Haverhill: the final decision has been taken and there will be no sixth-form centre, but two 11-19 High Schools instead.  A local initiative for Clare is seeking to create a Foundation school run by the community, not the Authority.  The CofE is proposing to create a CE Foundation School is the West of the county.   The Council has put the post-16 centre in Lowestoft out to tender (to be created on the Pakefield Middle School Site).  Similarly the SWISS centre is out to tender. They are still seeking partners. It appears that the only bid so far for the Lowestoft 6th-form centre is from the 3 Existing High Schools.  There is a meeting on the "competition" for Lowestoft on 17th July, with the Unions.  The C of E is unlikely to bid for the fourth 11-16 High School in Lowestoft, but are likely to resurrect their interest in Holywells (this was a proposals some years ago).
  5. Dissatisfaction with Suffolk County Council: Secretary wrote to Cllr Jeremy Pembroke expressing NUT concern over SCC's handling of education, and declining to support the Authority's bid for a Unitary Suffolk, as discussed and agreed in the May Division Council meeting. Received a standard pro forma reply, which totally ignored any of the points made, of course.
  6. blue dot14-19 Strategy in Suffolk. NUT has prepared a response, in draft, which criticises the lack of forward planning for 14-19 and the distortions of planning introduced by SOR and earlier cuts.  For example, the LA is now proposing to set up a 14-19 training centre - barely 2 years after closing all PDCs!
  7. blue dotTUC Lobby of Parliament, Monday 9th June: Graham White to report.
    Michael Lord SE Suffolk Association
    Bob Blizzard Lowestoft Association
    John Gummer Waveney & Yoxford
    Chris Mole Ipswich
    David Ruffley Bury St Edmunds Association
    Richard Spring Bury St Edmunds or Sudbury
    Tim Yeo Sudbury Association
  8. Circular to Schools re. High Temperatures (copy of the advice sent last April).
  9. Circular to Reps re. reducing cover to "only rarely"
  10. Soulbury Forum: Awaiting a date to complete discussions on the move to Soulbury for Advisory Teachers.
  11. County Music Service: Meeting 12/6/8. CMS management are proposing "a sustainable, cost effective and high quality Music Service, initially as an arms length traded service within SCC and its School Improvement Service for Suffolk, for Suffolk CP schools and the wider youth and community in the context of Securing the Future and outcome(s) of the Bournday Commission's (sic) decisions(s).  Partnership with other neighbouring authorities should be considered as part of its work. (2) To ensure that this service is developed on behalf of an integrated children's service and that its work reflects the CYP service cultures and values. (3) To secure the aspirations set out by the DCSF underpinning its three-year Music Standas Fund 1.11.   Behind all the management-speak, we feel this is CMS preparing to be out-sourced or entirely privatised, as is happening elsewhere in the County.  The NUT proposed that CMS includes amongst the "risks" of going "arms-length" they should list all the pitfalls seen elsewhere.
  12. Section 188 Declarations: Grundisburgh (-2) and Abbots Hall (-2).  Abbotts Hall has been resolved by voluntary means. There was selection at Grundisburgh but NUT members not involved.
  13. Local Forum for Staff who work with Vulnerable Children: Now meeting regularly.  Barbara Robinson representing NUT.
  14. Complaints Procedures: Still no progress or response from the Authority.
  15. Up-date to Disciplinary, Grievance and Capability procedures: Jane Sheat told the JNC that it was still on the "to-do" list, but that recent changes to the disputes resolution legislation had held up drafting new versions of the policies.
  16. blue dotDomestic Violence:  (a) The Corporate Policy Document: NUT has responded with more amendments. Policy document to be presented to Partnership Board meeting 5/6/8.  There was a last-minute attempt to take out reference to the Health and Safety at Work Act, which was successfully rejected.   Accepted in principle at the Partnership Board.  MG has distributed copies to the Recruitment and Safe Practice Group and requested input from HR and Legal.
  17. blue dotDomestic Violence (b): Policy for Schools: Working Party still awaited.
  18. Intimate Care: Working party still awaited.
  19. blue dotTeachers' Travel Scheme: Secretary has sent in amendments to the Authority and this should now be published to schools. Next problem is EOTAS element, where the LA wants to create a "base" for journeys where people live a long way from the area where they mostly work.   Meeting with LA awaited.
  20. Sick-pay for EOTAS and regular supply teachers: Final wording still awaited.  However, casework has obtained concessions that supply and EOTAS tutors should be paid sick pay if they have a regular commitment (i.e. virtually on timetable, or implied contract).
  21. blue dotSchool Staff Forum meeting 25/6/8: Chaired by Allan Cadzow.
  22. SOR New person in charge of HR aspects of SOR is Sonya Docherty.  LA is proposing a new working document to implement the Staffing Protocol, but Staff Side felt that it did not reflect the intended protections in the protocol, however ineffective.  LA still claiming that if staff turned down "an offer" of commensurate work this would negate redundancy packages, but have admitted that staff would have had to have applied for the post firts.  There is no way of the Authority directing staff to a vacancy.
    SEN Review Consultation on a rather incomplete and rushed document on the "development of Specialist Education Provision in Suffolk".  Division will be responding before the deadline: July 18th.
    Police-LA Liaison Nick Wilding reported that there was an up-date coming in draft re. liaison between CYPS and Suffolk Police, in the light of changes in the law (e.g. the right to search).
    Area HR NUT raised the issue of the transfer of CSD Education HR staff from Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft to Ipswich, expressing concern at the likely effect on services to schools and accessibility of HR Advisers in casework. J Sh suggested that the service would actually improve.  Staff side sceptical.
    SWISS Update NUT again questioned the capacity of SWISS re. Diploma courses and compared the provision for 2000 post-16 students with that available at the Hedley Learning Community, for just 1400 11-16 students.  Reply from LA was that 2 experienced headteachers were running the project and everything had been properly calculated.
    blue dotTeachers' JNC Panel Meeting 25/6/8:
    Part-time Pay (see 08-114-SALS)

    JNC asks the Authority to report on the local implications of this method of calculating payment to supply staff, and proposes that the Authority adopts a policy discouraging long-term supply arrangements where a fixed-term appointment would be recommended.  JNC also requests that the Authority adopts the same method of calculating part-day payments for supply work as is used for determining part-time pay for those on a contract of employment.

    Supply Pay (see 08-114-SALS)

    JNC is raising with LA that fact that the DCSF has stipulated that: Schools and employers need to be preparing for these proposed changes and must consider the implications of the new method for calculating part-time teachers’ pay, and any possible changes to their working time arrangements, when considering and making offers of employment for prospective appointments from 1 September 2008.

    14-19 Implementation NUT has asked the JNC to request full details of the LA's plans for the introduction of 14-19 Diplomas, including:
    • which schools are piloting which 14-19 Diplomas in the next 3 year phasing-in period (starting with Engineering at Leiston High 2008)?
    • which schools and colleges are in which consortium?
    • what over-arching planning is in place for each consortium?
    • how is the introduction of 14-19 diploma courses (and IB) to be financed?
    • What resources are to be allocated to consortia to create extra capacity for KS4 students and larger post-16 numbers to access all 3 levels of practical and vocational courses (e.g. Engineering, Health and Social Care, Creative and media, Construction and the built environment, Land-based and environment, Manufacturing, Hair & Beauty, Hospitality & Catering) ?
    • Which 14-19 curriculum projects are included in the details of the Schools for the Future bids to be made by the Authority ?
    Exit Surveys Casework has shown that in some areas of the County, HR has not been sending out exit surveys to all leavers.  JNC is insisting that they must be sent out automatically to all leavers and is requesting full statistics + a review of the procedure.
    Pupil Panels JNC is objecting to the practice, apparently encouraged by the DCYPS, of allowing a panel of pupils to take part in the interviewing of teachers for posts.
    Occupational Health and Stress Arising from casework, the NUT has alerted the JNC of cases where Occupational Health seem to be unaware of (1) the conditions of service in the Burgundy Book and (2) the JNC agreement made with the Authority and Occupational Health in 2005 for dealing with cases of illnesses of teachers where the reasons for absence "arise out of and in the course of duties as a teacher", but do not involve a recognised industrial disease or physical injury.
    Schools of Concern JNC is requesting a review of the Schools of Concern policy and practice of the LA.
    National Challenge JNC is asking the LA for details of their Action Plan re. Holywells, Chantry, Denes and Castle Manor.
  23. Recruitment and Safe Practice Group: Continuing to monitor introduction of the Independent Safeguarding Authority
    blue dotForm to request permission to employ someone before CRB checks are completed This form now exists and headteachers can use it where there is an urgent need to employ someone in order to deliver a "statutory service" but where a CRB check has been requested, but not yet received.  NUT pressed the LA to agree that it could be used by a headteacher needing to employ a supply teacher who had a technical "lapsed" CRB check because they had not worked for 3 months.  Permission can only be granted by an LA Head of Service.
    Whistleblowing NUT reported abuse of Whistle Blowing procedures to encourage anonymous reports about the standard of work of professionals, rather than alerting line managers to criminal or clearly harmful actions.  Normal management of conduct should be discussed openly and good practice encouraged by example, tackling poor practice in staff meetings, training, capability procedures, but not by collecting evidence in secret.
    blue dotReferences Up-dates of the forms to be used for recuitment, including for teachers, which includes the question: "Would you re-employ this candidate?" .
  24. blue dotFacilities Time: LA has now sorted out a way to pay facilities time to Division Secretary.
  25. Teacher Representative Report ( Andrew Guite)
  26. Health and Safety: Alan Wright to report.
  27. greenblob Treasurer: Paul Brewerton to report.
  28. Conferences, etc.   To receive any reports submitted.
    Section D: Local Associations
  29. blue dotRecruitment activities for the new academic year - check readiness of all Associations and membership secretaries.
  30. Bury St Edmunds: the new secreteary of BSE Association will be Linda Rutter of Howard Middle School.  There was a very successful Summer Tea Meeting at which Gererd Dixie (recently AST at Copleston) spoke on Classroom Management.  This attracted a good number of members who attended a union meeting for the first time.
  31. blue dotFacility time for Margaret Bulaitis, Graham White, Paul Widdowson to be agreed (Association Secretaries working in Schools).
  32. Congratulations to Paul Widdowson, in-coming secretary of Waveney & Yoxford Association who has been elected councillor for St Margarets Ward, Lowestoft.

Date of next meeting: September 25th 2008


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