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Suffolk Division NUT

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

Belstead Brook Hotel, Ipswich

Wednesday May 12th 2009

Venue: Ipswich

Circulars from HQ, etc: 
  1. NUT Executive News No 160
  2. 10-093-SS&EE - SCHOOL FUNDING IN ENGLAND - SUMMER 2010 UPDATE (Hearth): information on the following issues:
      • NUT Funding survey 2010-2011
      • Government School Funding Announcement, March 2010
      • DCSF paper, “Securing our future: using our resources well”
      • DSG review
      • Pupil Premium
      • Changes to funding regulations
      • EYSFF
      • Post-16 Education
    • 10-092-S&C - SATs UPDATES: PAY DEDUCTIONS AND COLLECTION OF PAPERS: Following the advice from the Local Government Employers, some LAs are advising governing bodies to consider stopping an amount from the salaries of those people taking part in the boycott.  This is not a universal approach and other authorities are suggesting that no stoppage occurs.  Latest news from division secretaries re. schools refusing SATs: Oldham: 75%, West Berks 60%, Torbay: 75%, Kensington & Chelsea: 69%, Sefton: 75%, Lancashire 45% (approx), Dudley: 68%, Sandwell: 42%, Leicestershire: 30%, Plymouth: 30%, Leeds: 60% (approx), Kirklees: 75%, Barking and Dagenham: 50%.  Also reported in the media Rotherham: 100%, Hartlepool: 100%, Doncaster: 50%.
    • 10-091-SSEE - NUT BRIEFING ON PAY NEGOTIATIONS 2010: (Hearth) re. education negotiating groups, local government; and other pay groups
    • 10-090-O&M - FAIRER FUTURES PROJECT: ASSOCIATION AND DIVISION SECRETARY SURVEY: an on-line survey of Div Secs to gather comparative data to assess the impact of the Fairer Futures project, as well as collecting information regarding local equality work.
    • 10-088-EEPD - NATIONAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE: 10-11 July 2010. Division has agreed to finance one delegate.  Bury St Edmunds Assoc is sending 2 delegates.
    • 10-087-RM - ARRANGEMENTS FOR EQUALITY CONFERENCES TO SUBMIT A MOTION TO ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2011
    • 10-086-10 - LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANS TEACHERS' CONFERENCE 2010: ADVANCE NOTICE: Saturday, 6 November at Hamilton House
    • 10-085-S&C - CAMPAIGN AGAINST SATs UPDATE: further paper mailing to head teacher and leadership group members on Friday, 30 April, which contains a copy of the latest FAQs and a link to some points that heads can put in a letter to parents.
    • 10-084-SC - NUT POCKET DIARY order form. Cost to members is £3.20; or 50+copies @ £2.90each , incl VAT.
    • 10-083-ECR - GTC CODE OF CONDUCT AND PRACTICE FOR REGISTERED TEACHERS:  A revised GTC Code of Conduct and Practice was published Oct 2009.  During consultation, the NUT urged the GTC(E) to revise the draft document away from a range of behaviours which could lead to disciplinary action and towards a set of principled aspirations to which teachers should aim.  The GTC(E) amended the original draft Code significantly.  Now some employers are seeking to use the Code for disciplinary purposes.  The GTC has confirmed that is not the intention of the Code. “Some employers have asked whether the Code becomes a term of teachers’ contracts of employment.  Unless the Code is explicitly recognised as such, there is no basis for reaching this conclusion.  The Code is not produced by a body which has jurisdiction over teachers’ employment contracts and has not been written with this in mind.  It follows that the Code is not intended as a disciplinary tool for use by schools or employers generally.  Because, however, there is a reasonable expectation of compatibility between the standards of conduct expected by an employer and those expected by the GTC, we have suggested that employers may wish to review any codes of conduct they may have in the light of the GTC’s document.  However, any disciplinary conclusions reached by employers would be made quite properly on the basis of their own judgments and not by reference to the GTC’s Code.”
    • 10-082-ECR - TRAVEL DELAY DUE TO EUROPEAN FLIGHT SUSPENSIONS – THREATS OF DEDUCTIONS FROM SALARIES: briefing for NUT caseworkers.
    • 10-080-SC - SATs BOYCOTT IS ON! – FURTHER NEWS AND NEXT STEPS IN THE CAMPAIGN: Announcement of the decision to activate the boycott, joint statement from NUT and NAHT.
    • 10-079-SSEE - THRESHOLD ASSESSMENT: SUPPLEMENTARY NUT ADVICE: supplementary NUT advice on Hearth re.  threshold assessment process in England for Round 10 (2009-10) following the statutory changes which base threshold assessment decisions on the outcomes of performance management reviews.   The guidance gives advice in particular on situations where head teachers may seek to argue that performance management reviews do not provide evidence that a teacher has met all ten post-threshold standards or that the number or content of performance management objectives should be changed in order to ensure that the necessary evidence is provided.
    • 10-078-SSEE - SCHOOL FUNDING: DCSF CONSULTATION ON DEDICATED SCHOOLS GRANT IN ENGLAND
    • 10-077-ECR - TRAVEL DELAY DUE TO EUROPEAN FLIGHT SUSPENSIONS – SCHOOL STAFFING: short briefing for members on the home page of http://www.teachers.org.uk: `Volcanic Ash – Suspended Flights and Travel Delay – Advice to Members’.
    • 10-076-OM - CLIVE JENKINS EUROPEAN STUDY BURSARY 2010/11
    • 10-075-OM - YOUNG TEACHERS’ CONFERENCE : 21-23 MAY 2010 – EXTENDED DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS
    • 10-074-SC - GENERAL AND LOCAL ELECTIONS – JOINT UAF/NUT LEAFLET
    • 10-073-OM  and 10-72 - PRESS RELEASE ON SATs BALLOT RESULTS: The result of the NUT ballot was as follows:

      Total number of ballot papers returned:             2478                (turnout 33.8%)
      Total number of spoiled papers:                               3
      Number voting ‘YES’:                         1853       (74.9%)             Number voting ‘NO’:        622                (25.1%)

      The result of the NAHT ballot was as follows:

      Total number of ballot papers returned:            8755                  (turnout 49.7%)
      Total number of spoiled papers:                              9
      Number voting ‘YES’:                          5360     (61.3%)               Number voting ‘NO’:      3386              (38.7%)

    • 10-071-OM - JERSEY DISPUTE
    • 10-070-EEPD -EARLY YEARS SINGLE FUNDING FORMULA UPDATE:  The DCSF notified LAs in Jan that the deadline for implementation of the EYSFF would be extended to April 2011 for those which were not deemed ready to proceed.  LAs which believed that they were ready to move forward with the EYSFF were required to complete and return an application form to become a second wave pathfinder, to the DCSF by 29 January 2010.  LAs were informed of the outcome of their application by 15 February. This may mean that many settings in the second wave pathfinder areas  will only have learnt of possibly drastic budget cuts a matter of weeks before the beginning of the financial year.  The important change to the process for the second wave pathfinder local authorities is a list of questions included on the application form which had to be answered to the DCSF’s satisfaction by local authorities wishing to implement the EYSFF in April 2010. 
    • 10-069-EEPD - THE ANTHONY WALKER MEMORIAL LECTURE: Friday, 22 October 2010 at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool
    • 10-068-EEPD - PLAYFAIR 2012 CAMPAIGN: The NUT supports the Playfair 2012 coalition in campaigning for the rights of workers producing sportswear.
    • 10-067-EEPD - BLACK TEACHERS' CONFERENCE 2010: 12 November - 14 November 2010 at SRH.  BSE Assoc is sponsoring one delegate.
    • 10-066-EEPD - JUSTICE FOR COLOMBIAN TRADE UNIONS
    • 10-065 - O&M - NATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMME: SUMMER TERM 2010
    • 10-064-O&M - NUT LEARNING REPRESENTATIVES' FORUM: THURSDAY 24 JUNE 2010
    • 10-063-EC&R - WORKERS' MEMORIAL DAY - 28 APRIL 2010
    • 10-062-EEPD - NUT DISABLED TEACHERS' CONFERENCE: Saturday, 12 June 2010 at Hamilton House
    • 10-061-S&C - CHILDREN'S BOOKS FOR CONFERENCE
    • 10-060-S&C - REVIEW OF ELECTED ADVISORY COMMITTEES
    • 10-059-SSEE - MARCH AND RALLY 10 APRIL 2010 – ‘DEFENDING THE WELFARE STATE AND PUBLIC SERVICES
    • 10-058-SSEE - NATIONAL STRATEGIES:  EMPLOYMENT OF NATIONAL STRATEGY CONSULTANTS FROM 2011: The Government has announced that it will be changing the funding system for the National Strategies when the current central contract held by Capita for oversight of the National Strategies comes to an end in 2011 (White Paper, June 2009). Currently, local authorities are allocated National Strategy funding to support the delivery of the Strategies.  They use this, inter alia, to employ central teams of Strategy consultants and supporting staff who are deployed by local authorities (LAs) to support teachers and schools.  LAs will therefore continue to receive National Strategy funding only until the end of March 2011.  Thereafter, the Government has said that it will devolve this National Strategy funding directly to schools.  The school will control the use of this funding and will be able to choose whether or not to purchase support from LAs (if available) or to provide or secure support in other ways.  Although this funding will not be ring-fenced, the White Paper states that “schools will be expected to use the funding to continue their investment in improving literacy, numeracy and other core business”.  See ISIS Review in Assistant Secretary's Report.
    • 10-057-ECR - CONSULTATION ON TRANSFER FROM COMMUNITY TO FOUNDATION AND TRUST SCHOOL STATUS
    • 10-048-EEPD - ACTSA DIGNITY! PERIOD. APPEAL
    • 10-054-S&C - SATs BALLOT AND CAMPAIGN: urging Divisions to contact members that HQ are balloting, urging them to vote yes.
    • 10-053-EE&PD - KEY STAGE 2 SCIENCE SAMPLE TESTS: Sample Tests in science from 2010, following the discontinuation of the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum science tests.  A nationally-representative group of schools has been selected to administer the sample tests to all of their eligible Year 6 pupils in May 2010.  The sample tests will be externally marked.  The results will be published by the DCSF at a national level. The DCSF will not publish results of the sample tests at an individual school or local authority level.  As these arrangements are generally in line with the Union’s own policy that national sample tests should replace the current statutory Key Stage 2 National Curriculum tests, they will not be included in the forthcoming ballot to boycott the Key Stage 2 SATs
    • 10-052-SS&EE - SOULBURY PAY AGREEMENT 2009: (Distributed to all Soulbury NUT members) agreement has been reached on the basis of the following improved offer put forward by the Employers’ Side in February 2010:
      • Educational Improvement Staff - 1 per cent increase up to and including point 19 of the pay spine;
      • Educational Psychologists (EPs) - 1 per cent increase on Scale A and up to and including point 8 of existing Scale B;
      • Young People's/Community Service Managers - 1 per cent up to and including point 8 of the pay spine.
      • No offer on pay was made or accepted for Soulbury officers paid above the above scale points.
    • 10-051-SS&EE - NATIONAL STRATEGIES: EMPLOYMENT OF NATIONAL STRATEGY CONSULTANTS FROM 2011: Currently, National Strategy funding is allocated directly to local authorities.  Local authorities (LAs) use this funding inter alia to employ central teams of Strategy consultants and supporting staff, deployed by LAs in consultation with schools.  The Government announced in June 2009 that it will not renew the current central contract for the National Strategies when it comes to an end in 2011.  LAs will therefore continue to receive National Strategy funding only until the end of March 2011.  Thereafter, the Government has said that it will devolve National Strategy funding directly to schools.  The use of this funding will then be controlled by schools, which will be able to choose whether or not to purchase support from LAs if available or to provide or secure support in other ways.  The NUT has urged that funding for the National Strategies should remain ring-fenced for teachers’ professional development. The Union is aware that some LAs have stated that their current central National Strategy teams will be discontinued after March 2011, putting those employees’ employment at risk.   See Assistant Secretary Report:
    • 10-047-OM - NEW TEACHERS’ RECRUITMENT MATERIALS 2010
      Assistant Secretary's Report
  1. Recruitment and Safe Practice Group - school exchanges: The ISA is drawing back from the more ridiculous ideas of safeguarding re. baby sitting and schools exchanges.  The Government response to the “Drawing The Line” report on the new Scheme said, in relation to school exchanges and host families: "We believe ... that we should lift the requirement for registration where schools are organising exchange programmes with other schools, the parents accept responsibility for selection of the host families who will look after their children, the host parents are unpaid volunteers and the visit lasts for less than 28 days.   However, the parents' hosting activity will remain regulated activity so that a barred person would commit an offence if they carried it out." The way in which the Government will propose to give effect to this in law is by a new exception, in those circumstances, from the requirements in the VBS legislation to register with the scheme.  The VBS legislation treats host parents as private foster parents, and without this exception, the VBS would require them to be ISA registered, and would require the school that is placing the child with the family to check that the host parents were ISA registered.
    The circumstances in which this new exception will apply are:
    - the private fostering is for under 28 days;
    - the adults providing the private fostering (that is, accommodation and care) are unpaid volunteers;
    and
    - the parents or guardians of the child being privately fostered agree the choice of the adults who privately foster their child.
     Although this does remove the original, totally impractical, proposals, there remain many problems and complications for schools arranging exchanges of this nature, and host families are still considered to be "temporary foster parents".

  2. Recruitment and Safe Practices Group - Photocopying of passports, etc. MG has at last received a response from the Information Commissioners Office.  This is published on our website.  The response totally supports our stance that there is never any requirement for the employer to copy any identity papers of any UK or EU citizen. Bury St Edmunds MP, David Ruffley, has assisted in obtaining the response.  MG has sent the response to SCC and CSD HR who have acknowledged but not replied.  A circular to NUT Reps is in preparation.
  3. ISIS Review: (See 10.51 and 10.58 above) SCC has announced proposals to halve the number of advisers, advisory teachers and consultants (all Soulbury staff) by March 31st 2011, because of the withdrawal of standards grant, etc. and allocating all school improvement funds to schools and their general budgets.  At present there are some 70 permanent ISIS posts and a further dozen which are temporary or time-limited secondments. MG was aware of the review (which was undertaken by an independent consultant firm - for a fee!) and had been requesting a Soulbury Forum meeting for information and consultation which was agreed but never organised.  Instead, the proposals were published to a staff meeting, to which no union reps were invited, then discussed, most inappropriately, in the Teachers' JNC (where the other Soulbury Union, ASPECT, is not a member, and neither is UNISON which represents Business Support staff in ISIS). The NUT objected, met with members involved, and a belated meeting of the Soulbury Forum was convened, after which the original scheme was radically altered, consultation put on a proper footing, and a normal Section 188 sequence and timescale established. The proposals themselves are:
    Establish a "Core Team to focus on statutory responsibilities of the LA, led by the Assistant Director for Learning Improvement
    Retain a "lead commissioning role" for English and Maths
    Develop a central brokering system to "synthesis a coherent offer from the wider school improvement market", CPD booking system, etc.
    Reduce Adviser team from 70 to 37.5 fte, and Business Support/Admin Team from 29 to 22.6 fte by March 31st 2011.
    Appoint new "Core Team posts for SLT, Area Lead Advisers, Data, SOR and SIPs first (from current team)
    Invite applications from advisory staff for early retirement on the grounds of efficiency (PRIEF) from this term onwards (without a redundancy payment) where the new, reduced service can continue effectively without that individual in post.
    Encourage other advisory staff to apply for posts in schools (with complications re. pension)
    Encourage advisory staff to "go free-lance" and become an independent provider

    No further moves until a Section 188 meeting on June 8th

    Decisions on voluntary or compulsory redundancy by December 31st 2010 for redundancy w.e.f. March 31st 2011
  4. PRIEF and teachers: MG has been in protracted discussions with CSD HR and CYP re. a case of a centrally employed teacher who is unable to teach his subject, for health reasons, but is not deemed "permanently unfit" to do other forms of teaching (which he has not done for some 30 years).  MG is suggesting that this is what the PRIEF regulations were designed for, but CYP has told CSD HR that PRIEF is no longer available. MG is challenging this as it was made very clear in 2000, when the practice of invited applications for PRIEF ceased, that the Authority retained the option of PRIEF as a management tool in exceptional circumstances .  Of course, no one in CYP or CSD is still around to confirm that undertaking which was given to a County Secretaries' meeting by David Thornton, with Alan Aldred present.  As far as I can find, there is no independent record of that assurance.  However, neither is there any documented evidence to suggest that the Redundancy and Early Retirement Policy passed by the County Council has been amended and it is clear that the policy is still, un-amended, county council policy.   The contention from CYP that they no longer do PRIEF cannot stand up now that they have offered PRIEF to Advisory staff (see 3 above) and many Advisory Staff are still in the Teachers' Pension Scheme. 

Date of next meeting: June 23rd 2010 (Ipswich)

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