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Notes for May 2008
[Previous meeting AGM March 2008]
Thursday May 8th 2008
Venue: Belstead Brook Hotel, Ipswich
Apologies already recorded: Alan Wright, Paul Widdowson (Local Stakeholders' meeting SOR)
|= Items involving expenditure||= Items for Discussion/Decision|
Section A: National with National Executive Report
Cambridge @ Guildhall, Cambridge from 12 noon Contact Jon Duveen email@example.com 07773 778 062
Chelmsford @ 1.30 Contact Jerry Glazier firstname.lastname@example.org 01702 207 780 (office) 0777478 2614
|Kings Lynn: West Norfolk and Downham and District local association have organised a drop in meeting to support those striking on 24th April. Come along between 9am and noon to the Family Room at the Farmers Arms, Knights Hill Hotel, King's Lynn. Tea and coffee will be provided.|
Norwich: joint rally with UCU and PCS from 11am at The Forum in Norwich - please come along and join in to show your support for the FAIR PAY campaign.
From 12.30 - 1.30 after the rally there will be a meeting open to all trades unionists, and speakers are invited from unions with members who work in any area of the public sector. The venue is Norwich Working Men's Club, Keir Hardy, St Gregory's Alley.
Peterborough - Regional College , time tbc Contact Andy Willis email@example.com 0797 764 9375
Stevenage - Contact Frank Breheny firstname.lastname@example.org 01582 410 621
Wymondham: South Norfolk and Breckland are holding a drop in meeting at The Feathers, Wymondham from11am until 1pm.
Following the publication today of the March RPI figure of 3.8%, Christine Blower, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Europe’s largest teachers’ organisation, has written to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) to call upon them to seek a remit from the Secretary of State to review teachers’ pay. As the 15th report of the STRB states, ‘…should the average rate of headline inflation for the twelve months preceding April 2007 (i.e. April 2006 to March 2007) or April 2008 (i.e. April 2007 to March 2008) fall below 1.75% or exceed 3.25%, any of the consultees can ask the STRB to consider the case for seeking a remit from the Secretary of State to review teachers’ pay” (STRB December 2005, paragraph 3.69, page 36).’
Publication of the March RPI means that an average rate of inflation for the period April 2007 – March 2008 can now be determined. It stands at 4.1%, which is significantly in excess of the 3.25% ceiling specified by the STRB.
In her letter to the STRB, Christine Blower said: “Three years of below-inflation pay awards for teachers are having a serious and adverse effect on recruitment and retention to the profession. Recent data from the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR) shows a significant fall in the number of applicants to postgraduate teacher training courses compared to the same time last year.
The GTTR’s applicant statistics for England show significant declines in a wide range of subjects including, for example:
English -15.1% Geography -18.7%
The GTTR also reported significant falls in applications for primary courses. In England there were 6.4 per cent fewer applicants for primary courses than at this time last year. In Wales, there was a decline of 9.4 per cent in primary applications.”Christine Blower adds that “There is a continuing decline in the real pay levels of teachers. Today’s March figure only confirms the cuts in living standards that teachers are experiencing. Three years of below-inflation awards for teachers continues to have a damaging effect on teacher recruitment and retention, as the latest GTTR figures demonstrate. It is essential to halt this continued downward spiral.”
Bury St Edmunds & West Suffolk
|Lobby and open forum with leafletting and video at The Athenaeum, Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds, 11:30 - 14:30. Refreshments. The videos showing will include a tribute to Steve Sinnott.|
|Ipswich and South Suffolk||Meeting 11.00am Ipswich Town Hall steps to leaflet and petition
Rally 11.30am onwards Ipswich Borough Social Club, Black Horse Lane, Ipswich. Speakers from NUT and PCS, UCU and FBU. Download map.
|Lowestoft and Waveney||Leafleting the public from 12:00 to 14:00 in the Britten Centre, Lowestoft|
|All staff "will have the opportunity" to work in SWISS. AR suggested that this would continue in the future, not just be an initial arrangement. Those staff would be employed at and padi by the 11-16 school but the SWISS centre would commission their services and pay the donor school back.|
|The intention of the participating schools is that the SWISS centre will be a separate school with an independent governing body and separate "principal", but in participation with the other partner schools|
|The Centre is "likely to be" a foundation (i.e. "Trust") school, which AR and the Authority say is still an "authority" school, but one where the links with business are stronger. Trust schools also need a major "sponsor" - this is not named as yet.|
|Very vague answers about whether Diploma courses for the 14-16 age range will take place in the "host" 11-16 schools - "it will be up to the individual schools" - this again suggests that concentrating on the post 16 provision is likely to mean that the all important KS4 alternative to GCSEs will be undersold and insufficiently staffed and provided for.|
|The building is designed to accommodate 2000 post 16 students for a range of A, AS and Diplomas, plus possibly the International Baccalauret. We remain sceptical about the capacity designed into the building for vocational skills diploma subjects post-16, and cannot see how very many 14-16 students can be accommodated for the same subjects in the same limited accommodation.|
|It would not be "on big trust" incorporating all the partner schools - some schools would be part of a larger trust, but not necessarily all. AR denied that this would lead to a two-tier system.|
|The schools are already seeking to rationalise courses and work out timetables to "block" days for vocational specialist teaching, etc.|
|AR spoke highly of the "inclusive" nature of SWISS, including accommodation for post-16 SEN (currently taught at Belstead Special School, where there will be great implications, including for staff, timetabling and transport.|
|Michael Lord||SE Suffolk Association|
|Bob Blizzard||Lowestoft Association|
|John Gummer||Waveney & Yoxford|
|David Ruffley||Bury St Edmunds Association|
|Richard Spring||Bury St Edmunds or Sudbury|
|Tim Yeo||Sudbury Association|
Date of next meeting: June 26th 2008