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Notes for AGM, March 2009

[Previous meeting January 2009]

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Suffolk Division NUT

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

IPSWICH

Thursday March 12th 2009

Venue: Flixton Buck (to be confirmed)

Circulars from HQ, etc: 
  1. EXECUTIVE NEWS 150
  2. EXECUTIVE NEWS 149
  3. Executive report from Kendra Deacon, January 2009
  4. NUT News Special on GTC(E) – “Take action now on your right to a private life” - will be arriving in schools in England week commencing 9 February. We are encouraging members to respond to the revised code of conduct and practice, sign our on-line petition and ask their MPs to sign our Early Day Motion. The deadline for submissions to the GTC(E) is 27 February.  Work Your Proper Hours Day Friday 27 February. Materials on this will be available on teachers.org week commencing 9 February.
  5. 09-031-EE&PD - THREE CHEERS FOR A FAIRER FUTURE: OUR EQUALITY PROJECT IS ONE YEAR OLD! All NUT equality officers are invited to a networking reception at Hamilton House, London on Saturday, 16 May 2009 from 11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.  Division and association secretaries are welcome, particularly where there is currently no equality officer in post.
  6. 09-030-O&M - NEW TEACHERS' RECRUITMENT MATERIALS 2009: Local Associations have to order what they think they may need.
  7. 09-029-EC&R - TUC/LRD SURVEY ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE WORKPLACE: The TUC and its affiliated unions have asked the Labour Research Department (LRD) to carry out a survey on climate change and the workplace.  Its purpose is to obtain a picture of union workplace action on climate change and to identify any problems encountered by union representatives and activists in this vital area.  The results will be published in a forthcoming booklet.
  8. 09-028-EEPD - LIFELONG LEARNING AND FURTHER EDUCATION (FE) PROVISION FOR ADULTS:  cuts being made to FE provision in their local areas.  As a result of these cuts, many retired adults have lost access to courses and other opportunities for lifelong learning.  Divisions and associations are advised also that the Union supports the ‘Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning’.
  9. 09-027-EC&R - CAMPAIGN AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE TRADE UNION CONFERENCE: Saturday, 7 March 2009 at King’s College, London, admission charge of £10.  Speakers include those from the trade union movement, the Green Party at European level, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.
  10. 09-026-EEPD - NATIONAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE: 11-12 JULY  2009. "Education without Failure".  Confirmed keynote speakers include:Professor Stephen Ball, Institute of Education, University of London – on Hidden Privatisation; Dr Denis Mongon, University of Manchester – on Successful Leadership for Promoting the Achievement of White Working Class Pupils; Sue Horner of QCA and Tim Oates of Cambridge Assessment have been invited to introduce a working group session on the curriculum and assessment.  
  11. 09-024-SS&EE - PENSIONS INCREASE PAYABLE WITH EFFECT FROM 6 APRIL 2009: details on Hearth and to be published in The Teacher.
  12. 09-023-O&M - YOUNG TEACHERS' CONFERENCE: 5-7 JUNE 2009: The Conference fee is £205 per person.  The fee includes accommodation on Friday and Saturday nights and meals from Saturday breakfast up to and including Sunday lunch.  Participants will have the opportunity to book dinner at Stoke Rochford on Friday evening; at an additional cost of £22.  Associations and Divisions are invited to sponsor delegates. 
  13. 09-022-EC&R - NEW ARRANGEMENTS FOR EMPLOYING OVERSEAS-TRAINED TEACHERS:  Under the new arrangements, overseas-trained teachers, subject to immigration control, will require ‘a certificate of sponsorship’ from a licensed sponsor (i.e., a local authority or school).  The certificate of sponsorship replaced the work permit scheme from 27 November 2008.  Overseas-trained teachers with existing work permits need not obtain a certificate until they change employment or their work permit expires, whichever is sooner.  The ‘four year rule’ remains in force so that an overseas-trained teacher will have a period of four years in which to acquire QTS.  Should their work permit expire before the end of four years they will require a certificate of sponsorship to continue to work.  In addition to the certificate of sponsorship, overseas-trained teachers must meet the requirements of the new points-based system under Tier 2 for skilled workers in order to live and work in the UK, although teachers with existing work permits will not be assessed under the new system until their work permit expires or until the job for which the permit was issued ends, whichever is sooner.   The NUT does not support the new immigration control system, not least because it subjects teachers trained in non-EU countries to unequal treatment in comparison with colleagues from member states.  Further, as a consequence of removing teaching (save secondary school maths and science teaching) from the shortage occupation list, overseas-trained teachers already in the UK will have fewer employment opportunities than previously, as all jobs falling outside the shortage occupation list must be offered first to UK qualified teachers or persons on employment-based training before it may be offered to a teacher from overseas.
  14. 09-021-SS&EE - NUT SUBMISSION TO THE SCHOOL TEACHERS' REVIEW BODY (STRB):  The NUT submission includes, in line with Union policy, the NUT’s pay claim of £3,000 or ten per cent, whichever is greater for all teachers, with an additional increase to restore in full the pay losses resulting from below-inflation pay awards from 2005 onwards.  In addition, the submission argues strongly that neither the STRB nor the Government should consider cutting the pay increase below the STRB’s indicative 2.3 per cent.  The second part of the STRB’s 2009 report is due to be with the Secretary of State by 12 June.  The latest NUT written evidence is part of a series of responses that the NUT will make during this period.  The NUT is scheduled to give oral evidence to the STRB on 12 March and will be able to submit supplementary written evidence in May.
  15. 09-020-O&M - ACTIVITY GRANT 2009
  16. 09-019-EC&R - JOINT HSE/DCSF LOCAL AUTHORITY ASBESTOS QUESTIONAIRE
  17. 09-018-SS&EE - PAY SAFEGUARDING - NUT ADVICE AND GUIDANCE: The Union has been informed of cases where some local authorities have wrongly removed safeguarding from some teachers with effect from 31 December 2008.  Divisions are asked to check with their local authority that no teachers have lost safeguarding due to any misunderstanding of the rules.  The following safeguarding provisions ended in all cases on 31 December 2008:

    The following safeguarding provisions remain in place and confer safeguarding for a period of three years:

    Cases of general safeguarding which began before 1 January 2006, however, also remain in place but are not subject to any three-year limit.  The continuing permanent nature of such safeguarding is an issue on which confusion has apparently arisen. 

    General safeguarding applies to teachers who have lost their posts due to closure or amalgamation of schools but are subsequently redeployed in the employment of the same employer.  The general safeguarding provisions are entirely separate to the MA safeguarding provisions.  They can, inter alia, provide safeguarding for MAs which teachers lost prior to 1 January 2006 as a result of closure or amalgamation (STPCD paragraph 45.5(b)(i)).  Where such teachers hold general safeguarding for those MAs, that safeguarding is a permanent entitlement.  Such cases should not be confused with cases of MA safeguarding resulting from the MAs to TLRs exercise for which safeguarding ended on 31 December 2008.

    It should also be noted that the safeguarding position of Leadership Group teachers or ASTs affected by restructuring under the MAs to TLRs exercise is different to that of classroom teachers who lost MAs under such restructuring.  Teachers who lose Leadership Group or AST posts as a result of internal reorganisations, but continue to be employed in classroom teacher posts in the same school, are entitled to receive safeguarding until three years from the end of the term in which the teacher relinquishes the previous post (STPCD paragraphs 47 and 5.3).  Many schools did not implement their new staffing structures on 1 January 2006 but deferred implementation until a later date.  In such cases, the safeguarding for former Leadership Group teachers or ASTs affected by restructuring remains in place and will only terminate three years from the end of the term in which the new structure was actually implemented.

  18. 09-017-O&M - MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR MONEY: NUT learning representatives and divisions can get involved by jointly organising a seminar with the FSA.  The seminar could be organised as a ‘stand alone’ event or as part of another Union activity such as a general meeting, an NQT event, a Young Teachers’ weekend or a ‘Learning at Work Day’ event.  An article in the January-February edition of the Teacher (page 25) has generated many enquiries from members interested in attending an event, so members in your division may already be aware of the programme.  Now may be a good time to organise a local event.
  19. 09-016-EC&R - CONSULTATION ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH THE SCHOOL TEACHERS' PAY AND CONDITIONS DOCUMENT (STPCD): The Westminster Government has indicated that it plans to:
  20. 09-015-EE&PD - BRIEFING ON THE NEW SCHOOL ADMISSIONS CODE: Became law in February 2009 and will apply to admissions in September 2010.  It can be found at www.dcsf.gov.uk/sacode.
  21. 09-014-O&M - NUT LEARNING REPRESENTATIVES' FORUM: ORGANISING FOR LEARNING - THURSDAY, 9 JULY 2009: NUT HEADQUARTERS, LONDON
  22. 09-013-RM - ARRANGEMENTS FOR ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2009: voting on priority of motions, etc.
  23. 09-012-RM - ANNUAL CONFERENCE – CARDIFF 2009  PAYMENT OF CONFERENCE REPRESENTATIVES' TRAVEL EXPENSES:  a grant for local secretaries is available for a maximum of five days at £90 per day.
  24. 09-011-SSEE - PART-TIME TEACHERS: PAY AND WORKING TIME:  Revised DCSF guidance is non-statutory guidance and has no formal status greater than that of the NUT’s own guidance.  Much of the DCSF guidance is helpful but, in common with the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) statutory guidance, it fails to address many areas dealt with in the NUT’s guidance and offers less robust advice than the NUT on other areas. The DCSF guidance restates the importance of consultation and agreement on the part-time teachers’ working time obligations. 
    Para 5 advises schools to have directed time budgets for all teachers, while para 19 advises them to reach agreements with individual part-time teachers on their working time obligations.  The NUT has previously published a model agreement for this purpose. 
    Para 8 advises that the exclusion of registration and assemblies from the school’s timetabled teaching week (STTW) is based on the assumption that such activities will last only up to 20 minutes each.  Where they last significantly longer, heads should decide whether or not to include them in the STTW as teaching time.
    The DCSF guidance includes advice and worked examples on the determination of pay and working time for teachers working in more than one school; teachers working in schools with two-week timetables; and teachers working in one school but across different key stages with different timetables.
    The DCSF guidance also includes advice on calculating the pay of part-time centrally employed teachers.  This contains useful advice on comparators and on including travel time in calculating pay and working time. 
    The DCSF guidance also includes further guidance and worked examples on the calculation of pay safeguarding for part-time teachers.  The STPCD is intended to provide safeguarding for any teacher whose new salary under the revised system is less than their former salary (excluding changes in working time).  The NUT has, however, noted that the STPCD provides for removal of safeguarding whenever a teacher receives pay increases greater than the value of safeguarding.  Other existing safeguarding provisions (eg TLR safeguarding) provide for removal of safeguarding only where such pay increases include incremental progression.  The NUT will seek consistency between the part-time safeguarding provisions and those other safeguarding provisions.
  25. 09-010-S&C - EXECUTIVE RESOLUTION ON GAZA, urging support for appeals for humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza:
    1. The Tom Hurndall Education Fund, which focuses on supporting the educational rights of disabled children across Gaza.  Cheques should be made payable to the National Union of Teachers and sent to Hamilton House, marked clearly for the attention of Samidha Garg, Tom Hurndall Education Fund, Equal Opportunities Department.
    2. TUC Aid - Give for Gaza, which has been set up to support emergency humanitarian relief for the people of Gaza following the offensive by the Israeli Army.  All cheques should be drawn in favour of TUC Aid – Give for Gaza - and sent to TUC Aid, EUIRD, TUC, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LS.  You may also donate on-line at www.tuc.org.uk/tucaid.  Circular 09-001/S&C, dated 8 January 2009 refers.
  26. 09-009-EC&R - SAFETY REPRESENTATIVES AND SAFETY COMMITTEES: TUC’s new edition, published October 2008, of the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977, otherwise known as the ‘Brown Book’.  Further copies may be requested from TUC Publications on 020 7467 1294.  Copies can also be downloaded from www.tuc.org.uk/extras/brownbook.pdf or from Hearth at the knowledge>employment> health & safety.  As well as the regulations themselves, the code of practice and guidance, this latest TUC edition also includes a list of other regulations which place requirements upon employers to give information to employees.
  27. 09-008 - HEALTH AND SAFETY ADVISERS’ BULLETIN NO. 84: Topics:
    • New HSE statistics
    • Falling HSE injury investigations
    • More workplace deaths than murders
    • Health and Safety Offences Act 2008
    • New work at height guidance for schools
    • TUC Safety Representatives’ Charter
    • Minister praises union safety role
    • Stress - evaluating the Management Standards
    • Stress tops hazards poll
    • Downturn could lead to more bullying
    • ‘Shattered Lives’ HSE stickers
    • Commute times start to decline
      • Helping those with mental health conditions
      • stay in work
      • Flexible work needed for mental health
      • Asbestos and employer’s liability insurance
      • Call for asbestos database
      • New ‘Brown Book
      • ‘Hazards’ campaign
      • Stress conference at Hamilton House
      • Recent NUT health and safety circulars
      • NUT health and safety representatives’ training course
  28. 09-007-ER&R - PLAYGROUND SUPERVISION: Guidance sets out advice on the legal framework, risk assessment and teachers’ professional duties.
  29. 09-006-EEPD - NAHT/NUT JOINT CONFERENCE: THE FUTURE OF ASSESSMENT – WEDNESDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2009, HAMILTON HOUSE, LONDON - REMINDER

Assistant Secretary's Report
  1. SOR - staffing and "vacancy management": Follow-up Circular from Secretary FAXed to all Middle School Reps with interim advice on members completing the pro formas distributed to schools.  Advice is to fill them in if you want to be redeployed and don't mind where - otherwise, hold on. Union still concerned about people being forced to accept unsuitable "alternatives" that CSD believe are "commensurate".  Also LA is threatening not to abide by STP&C Document provisions on safeguarding if (a) people apply for jobs outside the "Protocol" schools and (b) if people with large allowances or on leadership group only get a classroom teacher post.  Some assurances were given by LA. There remain concerns for those who will be quite happy to be made redundant.
  2. SOR Forest Heath and Waveney and Leiston: The proposals went through Council with not much amendment (except for the campaign re. Primary schools in Newmarket.)  Second wave of consultation now on-going.  Brandon town council is fighting the decision to close Brandon Middle School.
  3. St Felix: Now concerns re. personal losses.  SOme staff lost personal property which was not covered by the insurance.  MG is advising re. possible avenues of redress, including the LA policy on Ex Gratia payments - which the LA seem to have forgotten.
  4. In January, a Governing Body report from SCC was sent to Governing Bodies on "The Single Central Record - Safeguarding".  This stated that the Safeguarding Children and Safe Recruitment in Education Guidance (w.e.f. Jan 1st 2007) requires all schools to produce and maintain a "single central record of recruitment and vetting checks" (SCR).  As well as listing the type of documents required to be shown to an appropriate person at your place of work, Suffolk is now saying that schools must take photocopies and store such documents as Passport, UK Photo driving licence, birth certificate, utility bill, etc. even if they have already been produced for a CRB check.  The reason for taking copies appears to be connected with OFSTED demands to see evidence that checks have been made.  The SCC circular said: "Ofsted inspectors inspect the SCR and will expect to find it up to date, in one place, and to be able to cross check details on personal files.  Any concerns about the quality of the SCR may have an impact on the assessment of the school's leadership and management and may have a negative impact on the outcome of the overall inspection.  It is vital that schools keep the SCR up to date as part of their arrangements for safeguarding children."  The Union believes that the insistence that OFSTED can only be satisfied that checks have been carried out properly if they can also see copies of private sensitive data is not in keeping with the law on Data Protection.  MG contacted the author of the SCC circular (JSh) on Jan and we are awaiting a response. In the interim, a circular advising members not to allow personal data to be photocopied was FAXed to all Reps at schools with a published FAX number and copied to LA Secretaries to be distributed through their channels.   Advice is also being sought from "Liberty" and the Information Commissioner.
  5. Second breach of Security: a retired member received in the post a number of pay slips for another teacher with personal details including postal address.  This has been raised with LA, too, as another event indicating that we cannot trust the LA or individual schools to keep copies of passports!
  6. Industrial Injury: MG has prepared and submitted a report to the JNC which has been adopted and forwarded to the LA re. irregularities and differences with the Authority (and OH) regarding the 2005 Agreement.  Developments awaited.
  7. Safeguarding and Allegations: MG met with Safeguarding Officers to discuss problems over reporting and handling of allegations against staff.  It has been agreed to seek to a joint document as guidance to heads and staff on how to avoid unnecessary stress and unnecessary referrals to Strategy.  Talks also going on with HR re. appropriate changes to the Disciplinary procedures to ensure that investigations are handled properly at school level.   MG is contacting Barry Sheerman MP re. Parliamentary Committee investigating matters arising from false and vexatious allegations. 
  8. Soulbury Forum: CYP Forum agreed to set up a meeting of County Secretaries to finalise an Agreement to pay Advisory Teachers on Soulbury scales.  This is still awaited.  MG has reminded JSh.
  9. County Music Service:  An NUT proposal was put forward at JNC to include CMS in the Wellbeing scheme.  This was in response to members of all unions expressing concern.
  10. Intimate Care: Still awaiting some progress on this.  MG insisting on a meeting under the CYP forum aegis to collate current policy and review.
  11. MG is pursuing a possible case of unfair dismissal in a group tuition centre that was "closed" without due notice or redundancy procedures, and something very similar now opening, but the previous staff not being invited.  Seeking some compensation and avoidance of future breaches of regulation and good practice in these settings.
  12. Teachers' Travel Scheme and EOTAS travel : The document, agreed by JNC, has still not been circulated to schools or staff concerned.

Date of next meeting: May 14th 2009

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