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

Previous meeting (AGM March 2006)

Notes for Division Annual General Meeting: May 18th 2006


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

May 18th 2006, Ipswich

Apologiesalready recorded: For EC only: Andrew Guite, Alan Williams For Council: Sharon Cozens

u =Items for Executive Committee

¤ =Items for Division Council

Section A: National with National Executive Report

¤ Report from Glenys Shepherd.

  1. Executive News 124
  2. NUT News 10: GTC Fee The NUT is demanding provision in the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document to meet the costs of the GTC fee in full and to take account of the National Insurance element. NUT General Secretary, Steve Sinnott, said: "This is an important principle. It has been clearly established that teachers' pay should always include sufficient to pay the GTC fee with no loss of income. Teachers are being made to pay for the privilege of working. This is a tax on teachers. This is unacceptable. Teachers could find that in effect they are meeting more and more of the cost of the fee. The NUT has worked constructively with the GTC. The GTC has yet to win the hearts and minds of the teaching profession. I urge the Government to act swiftly."
  3. ¤ PENSIONS: The National Union of Teachers has warmly welcomed a new deal on teachers' pensions reached with the Government and local authorities in England and Wales, details of which were released May 17, 2006. The changes meet all the Union's key objectives and provide a fair balance between the interests of existing and future teachers. Under the scheme, which comes into effect on January 1, 2007, existing and future teachers will receive a package of valuable improvements to their pension scheme benefits.
    Benefits - Unmarried partners would receive the same benefits as married and civil partners.
    - The pensions of teachers whose pay was reduced in the ten years prior to retirement would be protected, benefiting in particular those with Management Allowances who did not secure TLR payments.
    - New opportunities for phased retirement would allow teachers to wind down prior to retirement without the current pension penalties.
    - There would be greater freedom for teachers in dividing their pensions between tax free lump sums and continuing index-linked pensions.

    - A facility to purchase up to £5,000 of added pension benefits
    - There would be a death grant of three times salary.
    - Spouses' and nominated partners' pensions would be paid for life from 1 January 2007.

    - Under the new arrangements teachers would be entitled to take up to 25 per cent of benefits as tax free lump sums with lower continuing pensions. (Currently, the tax free lump based on 3/80 th calculation amounts to 13 per cent of teachers' total pension benefits.)
    - Existing teachers have their current entitlements protected including the right to retire at 60 with no reductions in benefits.
    - From September 2006 new entrants will have a normal pension age of 60.
    - From 2007, new entrants will have a better pension accrual rate to help offset their normal pension age of 65.
    Costs From 1 January 2007 teachers' contributions rise from the current 6 per cent of salary to 6.4 per cent. The employers' contribution rises from 13.5 per cent to 14.1 per cent. These increases are needed to pay for the improvements in benefits and protect the scheme.
    HQ view Commenting, Steve Sinnott, NUT General Secretary, said: "These changes result from intense and constructive negotiations between all the teachers' organisations, the employers and the Government. They will improve, maintain and protect one of the best occupational pension schemes in the UK. "There is clear recognition of societal changes and the threat to salary levels of teachers who lose out under the change to teaching and learning responsibilities. All these improved benefits will continue to help to recruit and retain young people in the profession."
  4. Advice to members re. public workers' strike on 28th March
  5. PAY: STRB Report for 2006 - details and NUT Commentary
  6. The Union is organising a conference on 22 May on pupil behaviour, cost £30 for NUT members. The GS will launch practical guidelines, Unacceptable Pupil Behaviour: advice and Protection from the NUT; a comprehensive guide providing answers to the most FAQs about pupil behaviour (not yet available electronically).
  7. New Secretary of State: Steve Sinnott, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Europe's largest teaching union said: 'I congratulate Alan Johnson on his appointment. Alan will be a Secretary of State who brings with him tremendous background knowledge of education and a capacity to deal with tough problems. He understands education and those who work in it and use it. His task is enormous. He will be expected to steer a highly divisive and unpopular Education Bill through Parliament. The best step that could be taken is for the Government to withdraw the Bill. It should consult all those with a stake in the future of young people in order that we can achieve a Bill which backs, supports, and enhances comprehensive education in the 21st century. I wish him luck. I look forward to working with him'.
    Circulars from HQ, etc:
  9. 06-089-M&C - NATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMME: DIVISION SECRETARIES BRIEFING: WEDNESDAY 11 TO FRIDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2006 AND NEW SECRETARIES COURSE: MONDAY 9 TO WEDNESDAY 11 OCTOBER 2006: Secretary unable to attend as he will be abroad at that time. Application form included.
  16. 06-082-M&C - EDUCATION FOR GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP: A GUIDE FOR SCHOOLS: a new Oxfam guide for schools, Education for Global Citizenship.
  17. 06-081-SALS - SALARY SACRIFICE SCHEMES: The Government has announced, in response to NUT representations, that all teachers will from 1 June 2006 be able to take part in "salary sacrifice" schemes offered by their employers. These schemes allow employees to obtain certain kinds of benefit - in particular childcare vouchers - on a tax-free basis in return for surrendering part of their pay. The Government has also agreed to amend rules of the Teachers' Pensions Scheme (TPS) in order to ensure that salary sacrifice arrangements do not affect TPS members' pension entitlements.
  20. 06-078-E&EO - AN EDUCATION SYSTEM FOR THE 21ST CENTURY - WHICH WAY FORWARD? Provides a very strong background policy support to the NUT's lobbying against the structural parts of the Education and Inspections Bill. To be discussed at National Education Conference 1-2 July.
  21. u 06-077-CCU - DIVISION SECRETARIES' BRIEFING - TEACHERS PENSION SCHEME: Hamilton House, 19th May. Secretary attending.
  22. 06-076-EEO - NUT CONFERENCE ON UNACCEPTABLE PUPIL BEHAVIOUR - LEARNING TO BEHAVE: Monday, 22 May 2006 - used to launch campaign on proper funding of behaviour inclusion.
  23. 06-075-EEO - NUT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT - LAUNCH OF PARTNERSHIP WITH UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE: invites divisions and associations and Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) to attend a major CPD conference at Hamilton House on Friday, 9 June 2006. During the Conference 'Teacher-Led Enquiry', Steve Sinnott, will launch a new professional development partnership with the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education. This partnership will lead to professional development opportunities in NUT local divisions and associations - beginning with a pilot project in four associations during the autumn term 2006.
  24. 06-074-SUP - RETIRED TEACHERS' MEETING - 13 JUNE 2006
  25. u 06-073-EEO - NATIONAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE 2006 - deadline for applications is 26th May. Fee is £150.
  26. 06-071-O&A - EXECUTIVE ELECTIONS: Graham White was unsuccesful in his attempt to be elected as Executive Member. Congratulations to Glynis Shepherd who was re-elected
  28. 06-069-L&PS - NEW PENSION RIGHTS FOR SAME SEX COUPLES: NUT guidance and briefing.
  29. 06-068-E&EO - NATIONAL CURRICULUM YEAR 6, 7 AND 9 TEST ADMINISTRATION 2006: The National Assessment Agency (NAA) has produced a 'Test Administrators Training Pack' to support the administration of Year 6, 7 and 9 tests in schools. The pack replaces the 'Teachers' Guide' published by NAA previously. It has been sent to all schools and local authorities. In addition, Workforce Agreement Monitoring Group (WAMG) members have distributed the pack to local authority remodelling advisors. The pack can be downloaded from the NAA website Secretary has contacted LA re. provision of training for administrators and expectation that teachers will be relieved of administrative tasks related to SATs, etc. MC has replied saying that Suffolk was not intending to distribute the pack and will expect schools to download it.
  30. 06-067-E&EO - TOM HURNDALL EDUCATION FUND supporting the educational rights of disabled children across Gaza. Seeking donations.
  31. 06-066-M&C - ESTABLISHING LOCAL YOUNG TEACHERS' SECTION: Constituent associations are urged to raise the issue of local young teachers' sections at forthcoming general meetings, with a view to establishing local young teachers' sections at association level.
  32. 06-065-E&EO - EDUCATION REVIEW
  33. 06-064- SALS - THE BUDGET AND EDUCATION FUNDING: briefing setting out details of the education funding measures announced in the Budget under the following headings: - School Standards Grant (Personalisation); - Schools Capital; - School Science; and - Other Education Funding.
    Section B: Regional: Regional Office (Alan Williams) to report.
  35. Regional Report received and duplicated.
    Section C: Division / Executive Committee:
  36. ¤ School Reorganisation: Building a World Class School System for the Twenty-First Century: Stage on consultation document. Reponses required by Friday 4th August. The "options" given in the consultation paper are:
    (1) All two tier schools across the country (adopt the system based on the NC KSs for the whole county
      Primary Education age 4-11 (KS 1& 2)
      Secondary Education from 11-16 (KS3 and 4)
      Developm options for students after the age of 17 in line with the 14-19 strategy
    (2) All three-tier schools across the county (adopt the first, middle and upper high school system for the whole county
      Primary school education 4-8
      Middle (deemed secondary) school education from age 9 -13
      Upper/High school education from age 13 upwards.
    (3) Status quo: Keep the current mix of 2- and 3-tier schools as they are at present, building on the achievements and developments of the past 30 years and continue efforts to improve attainment at KS2
    (4) All-age schools: Allow the development of all age schools in some, or possibly all, areas of the county.
    (5) A different mixed economy: allow the development of different patterns of provision across the county, depending on the views of parents and the community.
    Response form is designed to be completed by individuals (can be completed on-line) and is mainly the "do you agree we need to change" type question, with a tick box for 2-tier, 3-tier or mixed economy. Appears very basic and too simplistic, given the existing diversity, let alone the extra diversity proposed by earlier 14-19 papers. Division will put in more detailed and comprehensive response. Secretary requests in-put from Associations covering each of the high school pyramids involved. Penny Cook and Andrew Guite are involved in the stakeholder and scrutiny groups respectively. In CYPD Forum LA officers keen to point out that this is still an "in principle" investigation and information gathering exercise. On the other hand, in the localities, many heads and others are proceeding as if the decisions have already been taken. SCC has set up a SOR webpage on which is to provide up-dates and facility for feedback and views from the public. However, some of the "public" information requires a password!
  37. ¤ Consultation Arrangements: The fortnightly meetings of CYPD and the "Corporate" forums have now ceased. A whole-day meeting on June 6th will seek to agree future arrangements for a "Partnership Board" involving all SCC recognised unions, the CYPD forum and local forums to include the Teachers JNC. The NUT will be pushing for more frequent meetings of the JNC, and a local forum for Soulbury negotiations. Details over numbers and constitution may cause some disagreement between the teacher organisations. The politicians are taking at 3 con, 1 Lab and one LibDem approach to their representation on the Partnership Board. What should the union approach be?
  38. ¤ TLRs: Secretary to report on latest casework. The STP&C document says that any decision that affects pay should be handled by through the pay appeals procedure but so far, none of the schools involved seem to have an up-to-date Salaries Policy incorporating the steps needed for TLR or UPS appeals. Division is therefore insisting on either the use of the Grievance procedure or the DfES Appeals Procedure, both of which have one informal stage and two formal stages. Some areas of the LA are resisting this. Confusion reigns over who defends TLR appeals from the school. Is it the headteacher, who made the recommendation, or the Chair of the Governing Body who accepted the headteacher's recommendation. The LA want it to be both. The DfES Model Pay Appeals procedure says that the first formal hearing should be heard by "the committee which made the decision". In true pay appeals, this will be the pay or personnel committee. In the case of restructuring grievances, it is the entire governing body. Strictly speaking therefore, no panel of governors should hear either the first hearing or the appeal! Another crazy bit of regulation.
  39. ¤ Statutory rights to PPA: There are still cases, notably in the N Area where the LA has failed to advised heads properly, where members are being denied their right to have their 10% guaranteed PPA properly guaranteed (i.e. not encroached upon in any way and appearing on the normal weekly or fortnightly timetable.) Some heads are asking staff to volunteer to lose their guaranteed PPA, for example, including in Secondary. In one N Area school we are approaching a ballot for protest action to secure for next year what has not been timetabled for this (where the no detriment clauses have been ingored and the N Area advised the Governing Body on appeal that the no detriment clauses were not operative until next year!). In a N Area Primary School, the head removed a member's guaranteed PPA without notice to "pay back" time for which she was covered two days earlier. The member was covered for attending a directed meeting with a visiting adviser. Again, the LA has failed to advise the school accordingly.
  40. ¤ SCC Budget Cuts (1) PDCs: It has been decided that all 3 PDCs will close, although the Ipswich PDC building will continue to be used as an office base for advisory service / consultatants. The Authority circulated all 357 schools with a questionnaire asing whether schools would support the continuation of PDCs by making a larger financial contribution themselves. Only 77 schools responded: 12 schools indicated that they would be prepared to contribute to the cost of running the PDCs; 19 indicated an interest in principle, depending on cost and 46 said an outright "No". The majority of schools did not even bother to respond, and so we have now lost the PDCs.
  41. ¤ SCC Budget Cuts (2) Seagull Theatre: Expressions of interests are still being investigated, including a known bid from Kirkley High School. CYPD finance is now awaiting a business plan showing long-term viability from one or both of the interested bodies. The CYPD is being quiet about who the other group might be, but we believe it will be a local consortium of arts groups funded variously by local councils with perhaps some European funding as well. Deadline for dismissals has therefore been extended pending investigation of the bids.
  42. ¤ SCC Cabinetagenda and papers for 4/4/6: School Term Dates 2007-8 have been adopted. Proposals already published on our website. Suffolk LA has preferred the "Eastern Region Alternative" where the Easter weekend is included in the Spring Holiday, Easter falling early on 21-24 March.
  43. ¤ Circular to NUT Reps, March 2006: Invigilation. Advice to members concerning the need to employ invigilators. No teacher can be asked or directed to invigilate public or external examinations, including SATs at KS2 and 3. Some schools are attempting to avoid employing the new "cadre" of employees as invigilators by holding what are essentially mock exxams in classrooms. We are stating that, where the exam that the teacher is invigilating is not for the teacher's own subject / own class then this is still invigilation and one of the forbidden tasks. Where we have challenged this, the head has given in. However, a lot of staff are still feeling bludgeoned in to invigilating, and that includes invigilating KS2 and 3 SATs. There is still a lot of work to do!
  44. ¤ Meeting with Ian Brown and Debby McKechnie: 10th April. NUT had asked for a meeting to discuss problems with the out-dated policy booklet on dealing with Allegations of Abuse against Teachers. LA aware that it needs to amend its policy and both the Joint Teacher Unions / NEOST document on allegations and the new DfES Guidance, Safeguarding Children in Education, will form the basis of an amended document. Secretary is now attending meetings of the Safeguarding . The person with overall oversite of CP issues for the LA is the Head of Safeguarding and Quality Assurance at Endeavour House, currently Mr Cliff James. Debbie McKechnie also provides training for Area Offices. The Secretary is seeking consistency in all three areas, to ensure that trivial or clearly malicious accusations are filtered out early, that suspensions are kept to a minimum, that leave of absence ("garden leave") is only by agreement with the employee, and that all the protections, safeguards and disciplinary consequences for children making malicious allegations are implemented. The NUT is also anxious to cross-reference the LA and School Restraint policy, including incident reporting procedures, with the policy of dealing with allegations. Where the allegation arises from a restraint incident, the headteacher should have access to the restraint report before deciding what to do with an allegation received. This means that restraint reports must be filed immediately.
  45. Section 188 Up-date: Crowfoot - probably solved by voluntary means but complicated situation; Freeman P, solved by voluntary means; Gt Heath, resolved without compulsory redundancy; Gt Waldingfield - resolved without compulsory redundancy; Kingsfleet - Solved by voluntary means; Lakenheath P - solved by voluntary means; u Newmarket US - one by voluntary means, second is going to selection, but there are more volunteers, some resignations and a possible third way in the offing. Ringshall - resolved by better than expected budget; Southwold - solved by improved budget (but question over non-renewal of Fixed-Term Contract; Westley M - no news but Union has objected to any need for compulsory redundancy. Whitehouse Jnr - resolved.
  46. u Industrial Injury cases: the Industrial Injury Panel is to be convened for the first time since the 2005 agreement with the JNC to deal with 2 NUT cases. One in the N Area and one in S Area. The procedure which Alan Aldred devised involves the collation and exchange of evidence by employee and employer. At present, the Union has forwarded its papers to N Area office but has not received any "in exchange". Papers for the W Area case have been collated and are to be delivered this week.
  47. u Complaints Procedure within SCC: Following a very badly handled case in the N Area where an officer investigating the facts of a potential discplinary situation, the secretary accompanied a member to a meeting with that officer where our member was fully exonerated, verbally, and the officer gave undertakings about the outcome of her enquire. However, the written outcome entirely reversed the verbal findings, quoted evidence that had never been seen or explored in the meeting, and encouraged the headteacher against who the complaint was now made, to deal with it through informal disciplinary means. When the NUT objected and demanded under the Data Protection Act to see the papers, including interview notes, upon which the recommendations were based, the investigating officer said that these papers and notes had been destroyed (we queried the judgement withing 12 hours of receiving it!) The Union put in a formal complaint to the Acting Director of Education. This was investigated at county level and all the union's complaints were upheld. The enquiry was set aside as unsafe. The County Officer investigating the complaint has now recommended that the County set up a working party to ensure that all parts of the County Council have a robust and properly preprared complaints system to avoid such fiascos in the future. The out-going Director accepted this and we are now asking for the recommendations to be actioned. The working party will be asked to base their recommendations on the Commission for Local Administration in England's publication "Running a complaints system, Guidance on good practice". Secretary has now lodged a second complaint against poor handling of conditions of service issues in the N Area.
  48. u The Secretary is to resurrect the Jobs Warning Page on the internet site, but this time members will have to apply in writing for information on any school, giving their membership number, and the reason for requesting the information. Some information will be posted which is factual and which will be drafted and forwarded to the school before posting. Warnings will include Section 188 notices issued recently; whether staff have been instructed to invigilate in 2005-6, whether guaranteed PPA has been used for any other purpose, if there have been TLR appeals at the school, etc. We are aware of staff being recruited to "schools of concern" or even schools in special measures, who were not aware of the situation.
  49. u Facility Time: this is under review as part of the LA's proposals for restructuring employee relations. EC to discuss best way forward re. use of facility time, allocation of facility time to named officers and training programme implications. The CC has indicated that it is prepared to fund adequate facility time, but this is now up for negotiation. EC is asked to consider Division's approach.
  50. u National Minimum Wage is to rise to £5.35 in October 2006 (affects Division Baby-Sitting allowance).
  51. Teacher Representative: Andrew Guite has submitted a printed report on Scrutiny Committee meeting on Recruitment of Foster Carers
  52. u Treasurer: (1) Printer: The Division's Brother HL1850 Laser Printer has a broken spindle which means that nothing can be printed at the moment. The broken part costs 84p. Secretary will keep the Treasurer informed of the cost of fitting that broken part and effective the repair. Secretary is using his own Epson printer in the interim. Much slower and not suitable for bulk printing.
  53. u Treasurer (2) Local Association Fees 2007: HQ wants Form LS2007 on which to inform them of the local fee on subscriptions for 2007 to be sent in by Divisions and Associations by 2nd June. Our Membership meeting does not take place until 6th July. EC to recommend action.
    Section D: Local Associations
  54. Annual reports received from Sudbury and Ipswich Associations.

Date of next meeting: June 29th 2006


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