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

Notes for Division Annual General Meeting: May 2007

[Previous meeting (March 15th 2007 AGM )]


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

Belstead Brook Hotel, IPSWICH

Thursday May 17th 2007

Apologies already recorded: For EC only: .   For Council / Both: Sharon Cozens, Chris Grant, Andrew Guite, Cath Moore, Annie Pickess.

greenblobTony Dooley requests timed business to receive a report on Disability Working Party at 19:30.

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

Section A: National with National Executive Report

blue dot Report from Glenys Shepherd.

  1. NUT News 7: The Teachers' Union (Summary of Conference decisions)
  2. greenblob The full statutory guidance on Schools Causing Concern was published on the DfES website On May 16th. It provides full details on the use of new local authority powers which will help them turn schools around more quickly.  In addition, authorities will be able formally to warn schools where there are clear indications they can do better and there is a danger of Ofsted failure.
  3. blue dot Press Release: Teachers’ September pay increase to be reviewed: Under pressure from Britain’s biggest teachers’ organisation, the National Union of Teachers, the Teachers’ Review Body has agreed to ask  the Government for permission to look again at this September’s imposed  pay settlement for teachers throughout England and Wales.  Steve Sinnott,  NUT General Secretary, comments. The Review Body has accepted that the current headline rate of inflation  at 4.8 per cent is well above the point which triggers the possibility of the settlement being re-opened. That figure is 3.25 per cent.
    The inflation level compares with a planned increase of just 2.5 per cent, effectively a significant pay cut which could lead once again to teacher shortages threatening children’s education. It follows a similar  increase last year. If the Government agrees, the Review Body will examine the increases for both years.
    Steve Sinnott, NUT General Secretary, said: "Teachers have faced boom and bust in their pay levels for more than 30 years. They are given a boost only to see it eroded by inadequate settlements and inflation. We are determined that will not happen again. .... The review body has a built in ability to ask the Government for permission to re-open the settlement once inflation reaches more than 3.25 per cent. At 4.8 per cent there is no doubt that teachers will lose out and the profession and thus children’s education will be vulnerable...."

    Circulars from HQ, etc:
  4. 07-066-EEO - 14-19 SPECIALISED DIPLOMAS: THE GATEWAY PROCESS 2007:  This circular provides advice and information for divisions in England on the results of the Gateway bid, comprising of 145 groups of schools, colleges and training providers who have been successful in offering places on Diploma courses to students in 97 local authority areas in England.  A further 197 consortia have been given provisional approval to deliver the new qualifications in September 2009.
  5. greenblob 07-065-EEO - NATIONAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE 2007, Reminder:  Saturday, 30 June and Sunday, 1 July.
  6. 07-064-H&S - VIOLENT CRIME REDUCTION ACT - CLAUSE 45: THE POWER TO SEARCH PUPILS WITHOUT CONSENT FOR WEAPONS. Interim advice from the NUT (consultations on best practice are continuing).  In view of its importance, secretary has published the NUT advice on our website.
  8. 07-061-SALS - BENCHMARKING DATA (ENGLAND ONLY): Benchmarking data for the financial year 2006-07 has been made available by the DfES for schools in England.  This enables comparison to be made between spending levels for different local authorities in England.
  9. blue dot 07-060-COS - HIGH CLASSROOM TEMPERATURES: NUT policy, as agreed at Annual Conference 2007, is that 26°C should be the absolute maximum temperature in which teachers should be expected to work, other than for very short periods.  It is important that all schools have in place contingency plans to help staff and pupils cope with the heat.  There is little that can be done to alleviate particular problems if schools do not plan in advance and also take note of the weather forecast for the week ahead. The briefing includes many examples of practical measures which can be taken to reduce temperatures. Briefing on High Temperatures available on our website.
  10. blue dot 07-059-EEO - OUT OF HOURS CHILDCARE:

    In June 2005, the Government published the Extended Schools Prospectus.  This sets out the Government’s plan for primary and secondary schools to offer year round extended services from 8.00 am-6.00 pm, either at single schools or as part of clusters of schools which would be available all year round and would offer a range of activities for young people.  The Government wants all schools to offer extended services by 2010.   The Extended Schools Prospectus clearly states that there is no expectation that teachers will be required to deliver extended services.  The Union is concerned, however, about the impact of the initiative on teachers’ working hours and conditions on the organisation and management of extended school provision.  As part of its 2005 submission to the School Teachers Review Body, the NUT urged the Government to give the STRB a separate remit on the impact of Extended School status on teachers’ conditions of service and professional development needs.

    • The popular handbook for those entering the profession, Your Passport to Teaching was distributed from Headquarters by direct mailing to final year student members during the Easter vacation.
    • The newly qualified teacher recruitment pack for use by constituent associations will contain materials specifically for the purpose of recruitment.
    • An additional recruitment leaflet for newly appointed, but not newly qualified, teachers will be produced for use by constituent associations.
    • A recruitment leaflet aimed at those training to teach on employment-based programmes, i.e., the registered, graduate, overseas and ‘Teach First’ programmes, will be produced for use by constituent associations.
    • Please note that the recruitment materials referred to in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 above will be sent only to associations specifically requesting it on return of the request form.
    • All newly qualified teachers who provide to the NUT:
        • details of their school; and
        • direct debit details

      will receive a free book by Sue Cowley, author of Getting the Buggers to Behave.

      The target date for delivery of the materials is during the period 11 June – 6 July 2007.

  12. 07-057 - SALS - DfES REVIEW OF SCHOOL FUNDING FOR 2008-2011: details of the current DfES review of funding in England for 2008-11 and advice on matters which divisions should seek to have included in any local authority or schools forum response to the DfES.  Will be a national NUT response.
  13. 07-056-CCU - SALARIES CAMPAIGN: "You will be aware, through NUT News 16, that the Union has achieved success in persuading the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) to seek a remit from the Secretary of State to review teachers’ pay.  The STRB has accepted that the headline rate of inflation of 4.8 per cent has pushed the rate of inflation above the 3.25 per cent trigger level.  It is not known at this stage how the Government will respond to its request.  If the Government were to refuse to grant a remit, it would be in dispute with the Union.  This would justify the balloting of members for action.  The Union will be writing to the other teachers’ organisations with a view to a joint campaign and action."
  14. 07-054-EEO - THE NUT'S MODEL PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT POLICY FOR SCHOOLS' GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOL REPRESENTATIVES AND FOR HEAD TEACHER CHAIR OF GOVERNORS:  Both are available from the Performance Management page of the Suffolk NUT Website, together with the NUT Protocol on Observation
  15. greenblob 07-053-L&PS - THE WORK AND FAMILIES ACT 2006: The Work and Families Act 2006 introduces changes to statutory maternity and adoption leave and pay from 1 April 2007.  It also introduces the statutory right to request flexible working to care for an adult from 6 April 2007.  Guidance documents on Hearth
  18. 07-041-SUP - PREMATURE RETIREMENT COMPENSATION AND THE EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY (AGE) REGULATIONS 2006: some local authorities are claiming that age discrimination legislation prevents the use of the teachers’ premature retirement compensation arrangements. The NUT rejects such arguments. Guidance.
  19. ERS CONFERENCE: 2-4 MARCH 2007
  20. CASEnotes, Issue 19 May 2007: Government's own watchdog says Academies waste money; Do parents really have a voice?; Selective schools and social mobility, 2 cheers for the Admissions Code.
    Section B: Regional  
  21. Alan Williams's retirement do was held at RO on 28th March.  Chris Grant is temporarily looking after Suffolk affairs, until the new appointment is made and areas allocated.
  22. Next ERC Meeting is on 19th May.  Penny Cook has been appointed Regional Vice-President.

    Section C: Division
  23. SOR: Middle School Campaign: Following the AGM the President's speech was issued as a Press release.  The Secretary wrote an appeal to each County Councillor which was replied to by Patricia O'Brien.  Secretary sent a riposte to that reply, on the day before the vote.
  24. SOR: The vote: The County Council voted along strictly party political lines on 22nd March to close Middle Schools.  An amendment made it easier to set up federations and all-through schools, but the message was clear that independent Middle Schools were finished.  Secretary sent a circular to NUT Representatives in Middle Schools and a slightly amended one to NUT Middle School Headteacher members, outlining the measures the Union will take to seek employment stability policies, and to influence the local stakeholder groups for consultation Phase 2.
  25. blue dot SOR: Staffing protocol : There have at last been 3 meetings to agree a staffing protocol for the reorganisation of Middle Schools.  In the current version, still under negotiation, The Authority has provisionally agreed the following approach:
    • Adopting a common set of procedures for all appointments
    • Asking staff to identify the phase in which they would like to work following reorganisation
    • Drawing up staffing structures as soon as possible
    • Identifying training needs and providing staff with access to relevant training provided by the Local Authority for working in the relevant phase
    • Seeking staff’s commitment to keep up to date with the skills necessary for posts following reorganisation
    • Creating arrangements which will allow staff to work in schools across the cluster in order to gain wider experience and to apply for secondments in other phases
    • Providing joint training days across the cluster
    • Making joint and/or shared appointments between schools
    • Offering new middle school vacancies as permanent appointments to primary and secondary schools
    • (wording yet to be agreed: some clause re. not being asked to work outside your area of expertise/subject)
    There is also provisional agreement on the following procedures:
    • Indicating a preference for phase and, initially, key stage (and subject where appropriate)
    • Identifying training needs
    • Agreeing staffing structures
    • Details of appointment and redeployment procedures including the use of the County Council's procedures for all staff
    • Simple, common appointments procedure
    •  Use of fixed-term contracts and acting up arrangements
    • Timescales
    • Staff retention enhancements and benefits to ensure continuity of education (funded by the LA in genuine Recruitment / Retention situations)
    • Disturbance and travelling allowance
    • Staff recruitment incentives to fill vacancies, including school leadership posts during transition (e.g. secondments with substantive post secure)
    As it is the Governing Body of each individual receiving school which decides on who to appoint, the process will only work if all governing bodies in the areas affected agree the protocol when finalised.  The protocol currently says: "The expectation would be that the cluster partnerships would manage the process, supported by the Local Authority.  That active collaboration of schools is essential to ensure the desired outcome of ensuring the ongoing employment of staff. Schools will be expected to appoint staff who are then currently employed in the cluster partnership.  All schools in the County will then be expected to give positive and supportive consideration to appointing staff who are without a post in their own cluster."   In other words, redeployment should be sought initially within the cluster, but the redeployments to other Suffolk LA schools should then be sought, and the redeployment procedures adopted county-wide.  We anticipate that "bumped voluntary redundancy" would also be accepted, within the cluster, to avoid compulsory redundancy. Salary protection for those who are redeployed to a post of lower responsibility will only be safeguarded for the minimum three years accepted by the other unions as part of the TLR agreement they made.  The Authority intendes to renege on the 4-year protection currently available under the Suffolk Redeployment Agreement, because they say that it would contravene the STP&CD.  It was interesting to see the NAHT joining with the NUT in objecting and making the point that local agreements can improve on national agreements.
  26. blue dot School Reorganisation: Timetable: On May 10th, the Cabinet agreed the following grouping of closures of Middle Schools:
    Group 1 Lowestoft and Haverhill
    Group 2 Beccles, Bungay, Leiston, Mildenhall, Newmarket
    Group 3 Bury St Edmunds, Thurston, Sudbury, Stowmarket
    and to begin stage 2 of the "review": researching local options,; carrying out informal and formal local consultations; and decisions-making including the required statutory procedures. For group 1 (and one or two years later for groups 2 and 3) the timetable would be as follows:
    2006-7 Summer Informal discussions with heads and Governors and local stakeholder forums leading to possible options for formal consultation. Refine proposals and draft consultation document
    2007-8 Autumn Consult formally with schools, parents and others on draft proposals. Analyse responses and draft Cabinet report
      Spring Report to Cabinet.  Publish statutory proposals
      Summer Consider any formal objections. Either Council makes decisions or proposal are referred to the School Adjudicator,  Adjudicator decides for or against proposals
    2008-9 Autumn Inform schools, parents and others of the decision.
    Paper C07/28 then gives "a possible pattern for implementation, which for group 1, would depend on the precise "option" chosen but could be:

    No change to admission arrangements.  Year groups stays as normal throughout the school year. Prepare for change including (a) Planning for change including location for pupils and staff, curriculum planning, logistics of the change and (b) Capital planning including new build.

    2009-10 No change to admission arrangements.  Year groups stay as normal throughout the year.  Continue to plan for change.
    2010-2011 Yr 5 remain in primary school;.  Middle Schools now contain years 6,7,8 only.
    2011-2012 Year 6 remain in primary school.  Year 7&8 form the first two years of the Upper Schools.  Middle Schools close or, if required, are used as lower school centres for UPper schools. Upper schools become 11-16 or 11-18 depending on the pattern agreed.
  27. blue dot Unitary Ipswich: Secretary has sent a letter to James Hehir (Chief Executive of Ipswich BC) requesting information about what Ipswich would do for the Education Service if it became a unitary authority.  We ask several questions.  We undertake to report their replies to our members in Ipswich and surrounding area.  An interim briefing on the NUT's approach to a Unitary Ipswich is being circulated to NUT Reps and members.  A response of Ipswich Borough Council to our questions has been received.  This was used as the basis for a Press Release on May 14th and was distributed at the Ipswich NUT meeting at Northgate High School on May 15th.
  28. Performance Management: Suffolk LA is to circulate guidance to headteachers which will indicate the existing of the NUT Guidance as well as RIG's documentation.
  29. greenblob County Music Service:

    Meeting held on 31st April with Philip Shaw and Janet Wellings at which the latest budget for the current year was produced.  The CC is requiring £30,000 of (recurring) savings to be made this year, then a further £40,000 in the next two years.  However, the budget we were given did not even make the £30,000 saving, which was covered from reserves. PS had been saying all along that it would come good once schools bought in to the new opportunities offerings, etc. but the current indications are that this will not bring in sufficient income to avoid making cuts elsewhere.

    To cut from instrumental tuition provision to schools would be suicidal, as it would reduce the CMS's ability to sell its services.  The NUT, ATL, PAT and NASUWT are therefore in process of agreeing a letter, to be finalised at the JNC meeting on 23rd May, with a counter-proposal which:

    • Plans the phasing out, or major reduction, of any concert tours and playing days which cannot cover their own costs, including transport, by pupil contributions, fees and sponsorship.
    • Prepares the advisory and consultancy side of the work of CMS management, with the appropriate part of the administrative support, for transfer to the Advisory service, to be outsourced at the same time as the rest of the Advisory service, transferring those costs wholly to the Advisory service and devoting the CMS budget to delivery of music education to pupils.
    • Maintains a core service of in-house instrumental tuition, Wider Opportunities, KS2 curriculum offerings and vocal tuition as bought in by schools, with appropriate administrative support.
  30. greenblob Securing the Future: The County Council is proceeding with its political decision to meet the funding gap between expected demand for County COuncil services and expected grants and income (at least £150m per year in 5 years' time) by out-sourcing and privatisation, to be managed on an Area basis.  The County Music Service and Education Advisory Services will be on the list as will Social Care functions of the council.  The county council will become an "enabling authority" commissioning services . Schools and the Education Service will come under a "Children's Delivery Agency" build on area delivery of most services to children and young people.  There will be a separately delivery agency for the Inclusive School Improvement Service (ISIS = an umbrella service subsuming the advisory services).  These services will work from Area Bases and the principle is that savings will be made by more efficient use of premises and integrating and amalgamating teams from former social services, YOT, Connexions, etc., all coming under the Area CYP Director, supported by a "Business Support Manager" in each area, from 1st July.  Under each Area Director will be 5 senior posts:
    Service Lead Schools and Communities (interim only?) Cluster Development Coordinator 1 (FTC 2 years)
    Service Lead Direct Services to CYP Cluster Development Coordinator 2 (FTC 2 years)
    SEO Pupil Services  
    The interim service leads for Schools and Community and Direct Services to CYP are to be extended to December 31st 2007:
    North: Sue Boardman and Kim Drake West: Linda Howe/Alison Jones and Glynn Smith
    South: Janice Lee and Tessa Bailey (Frank Stockley to continue to lead on SOR in W Area)
  31. greenblob Reorganisation of LA service management to area bases:  All CYP services will now be transferred from the Centre to the three Areas.  The Early Year Services team will be transferred to the area CDA structure at the end of May, together with Extended Schools Services.  Also at the end of May the SEO Pupils and all their services transfer to Area Directorate.  In August, the IYSS Manager will be appointed and IYSS services, including Connexions, will be transferred to the Area Directorate.  It is likely that some areas of CC work (e.g. safeguarding, provision for sensory impaired, some health and safety/legal functions will remain at County level.  A meeting of the CYP Forum on 15th May, Rosalind Turner said that staff working in these areas (e.g. early years consultants and advisory teachers) would not be affected by the reorganisation of management, but in the longer term there will be an amalgamation of roles and a job descriptions will go over the former boundaries of "education" and "care", to merge into one single service.   The Soulbury Forum has been informed briefly of initial exploration of various ways of outsourcing ISIS, including what appeared at one time to be the favourite: CfBT of Lincoln.
  32. Risk Assessments on pupils with a history of violent behaviour - the training promised 2 years ago to introduce the procedure to Secondary schools, is still awaited.
  33. Conditions of Service in group tutoring settings: Adrian Orr is now promising a further meeting.  Date awaited.  More casework arising from these settings, including the lack of a decision-maker on site concerning H&S issues and suitable admissions, with the authority of a headteacher/Head of PRU.  These settings are now expected to admit pupils who are deemed to be unsuitable for a PRU.
  34. Domestic Violence Case: Secretary has submitted a formal complaint of maladministration to the Chief Executive which, this time, has been acknowledged.
  35. Secretary has re-vamped a briefing on Forbidden Tasks, published on the website, which gives advice to representatives where members are still being expected to undertake administrative and clerical tasks.
  36. Joint Area Review (JAR): an inspection of ALL publicly funded services for children and young people using the Wvert Child Matters outcomes framework.  4-8 June, Analisis Week; 18-29 June Fieldwork (don't expect to get any responses from LA Officials!), 16 October Report and judgements pubished.  The category which Suffolk gets put into after inspection is important - anything less than category 3 means any new school will have to be a trust school or academy!
  37. Section 188 Notices: Ringshall and Whitton Green - withdrawn; Stradbroke High - announcement expected today;Langer - 1 volunteer apparently accepted, but there remain concerns about class sizes and SEN if the reduction is made.
  38. Notschool: disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act has been received.  Further information will be sought. 
  39. The publication 50 things your mentor never told you or What is Unprofessional Conduct? is now being printed and distributed in A5 size booklet form. It is being targeted at new teachers, SCITT students, etc.
  40. greenblobForm 430 has been sent to HQ together with copy of the Rules and the Annual Report after this AGM.
  41. Teacher Representative: Andrew Guite to report.
  42. Treasurer: Requests to Associations to pay Division Subscriptions have gone out.
  43. greenblobConferences, etc : Reports from Easter Conference: Headlines:
    • PAY: NUT Conference agreed to seek united action with other teachers’ organisations and other public sector workers to defeat the proposed public sector pay freeze. Public and Civil Servants union leader Mark Serwotka pledged to work with us to get united action. Other school unions have expressed similar intentions to fight this pay freeze. We are particularly concerned about the plight of young teachers. Affordable housing was a key demand of the conference. You will be receiving more details of our campaign on this soon.
    • WORKLOAD: Any school requesting a ballot for action to improve workload matters should contact the Division.
    • PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: The new laws on this from September mean that the NUT's model school policies should be used as the basis for all consultations at school level. We also recorded concern at increased levels of teacher mental ill-health due to overwork.
    •  PRIVATISATION: The NUT called on Local Authorities to limit their Building Schools for the Future programme to just that – and not to hand over curricular control as well to the Local Education Partnerships.
    • CLIMATE CHANGE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Firstly, NUT will now recommend 27 degrees C as the unacceptable maximum temperature to work in if heat waves like last July's return. Secondly, we agreed new wide-ranging policy to tackle climate change in terms of the curriculum, school design, building and renovation, and energy use.
    Reports available from Suffolk NUT Website: Full Reports from Graham White, (Sudbury Assoc delegate) and from Robert Wilkinson (National Executive Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire); concise Conference report from Andrew Guite (SE Suffolk delegate).  Also copy of a written question to Steve Sinnott re. age profile of union activists from Andrew Guite and GS's reply.
  44. blue dot Advisory Committee for Disability - Tony Dooley to report, + introduction to the Mental Health Task Group (see below). Written report available at the meeting.
    Section D: Local Associations
  45. Annual Reports have been received from Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Lowestoft, Sudbury and Waveney & Yoxford Associations.
  46. From Ipswich Association: Tony Dooley would like the support of the Suffolk Division to be nominated to be one of the members of the Task group on Teacher Mental Health. . When is it?

Date of next meeting: June 28th 2007


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