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

Previous meeting ( September 2005)

Notes for Division Meeting: November 2005

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

Thursday, November 3rd 2005Ipswich

Apologies already recorded: For EC / Both: None 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. NUT News 22 - Pensions Protected
  2. Executive News 119. October 2005
  3. NUT Advice on OFSTED Inspection Framework: Advice on www.teachers..org.uk on: Notice of Inspections, Process of Inspections, Staffing of Inspections, The Inspection Framework, Self Evaluation; Reporting, Schools Causing Concern, Subject Inspections, Complaints and an Annex giving advice in Self-Evaluation Forms (SEF).
  4. Keep the Noise Down: NUT leaflet on the effect of noise on teachers (Part of "Stop that Noise", European H&S Week.
  5. Headway: The October 2005 edition has been sent to all headteachers, because of its importance re. restructuring.
  6. Press Release: Commenting on the new Education White Paper, Steve Sinnott, NUT General Secretary, said: "This is an extraordinarily wrong-headed White Paper. The Education Secretary's picture of legions of parents knocking on the door to control schools is not based in reality. "Parents do not want to control schools. They want to know they can turn to their head teacher or teacher if they have questions about their children's education. They want to know their child is happy, safe and learning. Above all they want a good local school for their children. The vision of so-called academy style freedoms with a new and confused role for local authorities is hardly a recipe for stability and confidence amongst both teachers and parents. Instead of democratic accountability through education authorities we have a confusing mish mash of trusts and parents' councils all with a say in the running of our schools. This is a tangled web of responsibility rather than clear lines. The pity is that hidden amongst outlandish ideas, the White Paper has some genuinely good proposals. In particular, the commitment to personalised learning which the Union has been urging on the Government. That is now to be delivered with ring-fenced funding. If the Education Secretary is sincere about new freedoms in the National Curriculum, the profession will be delighted."
  7. Press Release 2: Commenting on the Prime Minister's speech on the White Paper, Steve Sinnott, NUT General Secretary,said: "The Government's proposals will lead to chaos in admissions and planning gridlock. Its obsession with choice ignores the fact that parents operate on a far fromlevel playing field. It is pandering to the pushy middle classes at the expense ofchildren in less advantaged circumstances. Allowing parents to set up schools regardless of existing capacity in an area willundermine provision for all. But where are these parents going to come from? Currently too few are willing to serve as school governors let alone establish and runnew schools. "What parents want is high quality education from their local school. The idea that the Government is promoting new freedoms for schools belies thereality of its proposals. Schools will be replacing local authority support withincreased central control. In any case, the freedom to become a foundation schoolhas existed since 1997 and few schools have been interested in going down thatroad. The idea of employers setting up schools to meet their own perceived skill shortages contradicts the purpose of education and creates a service which is aboutfitting each child to meet the needs of that employer. It won't help young peopleadapt to the changing economic and commercial base of this country. Mr Blair's proposals seem to be based on his view of London schools, ignoring theneeds of children and parents in our towns, rural areas, and other cities. A period of calm would be more welcome in our schools than yet another period ofchange. Schools have faced initiative after initiative for almost 20 years and rarely isthere a chance for one initiative to bed down before another comes along."
  8. Press Release 3: Commenting on the Sir Alan Steer Practitioners Group report on pupil behaviour,Steve Sinnott, NUT General Secretary, said: "This report is very welcome. It has its origins in the NUT's Pupil Behaviour Charterreleased in September and submitted to the group in evidence. I am delighted thatthe group has taken up the idea of a behaviour charter. It has taken a practical approach to improving behaviour rather than throwing itscollective hands in the air in despair. I particularly welcome the group and theGovernment's recognition that parents accepting their responsibilities is crucial togood discipline in our schools. I am especially delighted that the Government accepts the group's recognition ofthe need for teachers to have a statutory right to discipline pupils rather thanleaving it to the vagaries of ancient and modern case law. This is a proposal forwhich the NUT pressed long and hard. It will aid teachers in tackling persistent lowlevel disruption which is too often met with "you can't do anything to me, miss".This will help put a stop to that. It will also help combat false allegations against teachers who can end up in courtfor responding sensibly in difficult situations. But this must be coupled with clearnational guidance on restraining pupils and on how allegations against teachersshould be handled. In addition, the group accepts that pastoral care is integral to teachers' work. It hasrightly urged that teachers' responsibilities for pastoral work should continue toattract additional salary. The Government had the courage to set up the Steer Group which has made many very welcome proposals. So far, the Government has responded positively to manyaspects but there is still work to be done in the Ministerial Group. I hope that issues not taken up by the Government at this stage will be adoptedwhen the Ministerial Group reports. These include national guidance on physicalrestraint, a charter on pupil behaviour and classroom teacher representation onindependent appeals panels."
  9. Threshold round 6 (2005-6): Practical advice from the NUT is published on www.teachers.org.uk and DfES advice together with a model Threshold Assessment Application Form for applicants is at www.teachernet.gov.uk/performancethreshold.
    Circulars from HQ, etc:
  10. 05-159-H&S - WATCH YOUR STEP - HSE SLIPS AND TRIPS CAMPAIGN: HSE 2-page reminder.
  11. 05-158-COS - UPDATE ON PFI AND BSF INITIATIVES
  12. 05-157-O&A - REGIONAL OFFICER - EASTERN: VACANCY
  13. u 05-147-M&C - EVALUATION OF THE CAMPAIGN TO RECRUIT NEW TEACHERS 2005: request for feedback from Local Associations.
  14. ¤ 05-155-COS - NUT POLICY AND ADVICE ON SETTING OR MARKING WORK FOR SUPPORT STAFF COVERING CLASSES DURING PPA TIME: From NUT HQ:
    It has been suggested that teachers have a duty by virtue of their status as teachers "assigned" to a class or group to set and mark work undertaken by support staff covering their classes during PPA time. References to such assignment are to be found in paragraph 60.3.3, of Section 2 of the 2005 Pay and Conditions Document, and in the Section 4 guidance, at paragraphs 42-45. To interpret these provisions as implying a duty upon teachers to set or mark work for support staff is not correct.
    As paragraph 42, of Section 4 of the 2005 Pay and Conditions Document makes clear, the duty upon head teachers to assign a qualified teacher to every group or class is intended to "protect the role of the qualified teacher and prevent job substitution". Whilst the Union does not accept that this provision provides real and effective protection of qualified teacher status, a provision which has this purpose must not now be interpreted to impose an extra burden on teachers.
  15. 05-154-M&C - A REMINDER: NUT HEALTH AND SAFETY ADVISERS' BRIEFING COURSE: 28-30 NOVEMBER 2005
  16. 05-153-M&C - DATE OF DIVISION SECRETARIES' BRIEFING 2006 will be Wednesday 11 to Friday 13 October 2006.
  17. 05-152-EEO - ACADEMIES TIMELINE
  18. 05-151-M&C - NUT LEARNING REPRESENTATIVES' FORUM: SPREADING THE NET - WEDNESDAY, 15 MARCH 2006
  19. ¤ 05-150-SUP - TEACHERS'/PUBLIC SERVICE PENSIONS - PUBLIC SERVICES FORUM AGREEMENT
    The central feature of the PSF agreement is that the pension benefits and entitlements of all existing scheme members will be protected for life. All existing scheme members will, therefore, continue to receive their current level of benefits payable in full at age 60 with no actuarial reduction. The lifetime protection afforded to existing members of the scheme under this agreement will account for most of the savings arising from a move to a normal pension age of 65 for new entrants.
    The central agreement however provides for scheme specific negotiations to make provision for higher collective or individual contributions to offset the effects of the new normal pension age which is expected to operate from 1 September 2006. New entrants will retain the right to retire at age 60.
    Full agreement is available on the Suffolk NUT website.
  20. ¤ 05-148-CCU - NUT WALTER HINES PAGE SCHOLARSHIP - 2006-2007
  21. 05-146-M&C - SOULBURY-PAID MEMBERS: RECRUITMENT CAMPAIGN
  22. u 05-145-M&C - NEW MEMBERS' NEWSLETTER
  23. ¤ 05-143-O&A - NATIONAL OFFICERS' ELECTIONS: 2006 - 2008: Nominations Received:
    Senior and Junior Vice-President :
    Treasurer:
    Examiners of Accounts:
    DAVIES, Julie
    GHALE, Baljeet
    GREENSHIELDS, Bill
    HARROP, Marilyn
    KORTLANDT, Sue
    NELLIST, Jane
    SHEPHARD, Glenys
    MURCH, Ian
    SKEVINGTON, Maureen
    BROWN, Jill
    CRIDLAND, Ken
    DENHOLM, Tom
    PALMER, Alyson
    SMITH, Peter
  24. 05-142-H&S - CAR MILEAGE ALLOWANCES 2005/06: Gives the new JNC rates. Does not apply to Suffolk as they now use the tax exempt rate which remains unchanged at 40p per mile for cars.
  25. 05-141-E&EO - REMINDER: NUT PRIDE IN EDUCATION CONFERENCE - 2005
  26. 05-140-O&A - ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2006 - TORQUAY: FRIDAY 14 APRIL TO TUESDAY, 18 APRIL 2006: arrangements for motions, etc.
  27. 05-139-E&EO - REMINDER: NUT CONFERENCE ON 14-19 EDUCATION: TUESDAY 1 NOVEMBER 2005-HAMILTON HOUSE
  28. ¤ 05-138-E&EO - 'LEARNING TO BEHAVE - A CHARTER FOR SCHOOLS IN ENGLAND'. A copy has been posted on the website.
  29. 05-137-SALS - TEACHING AND LEARNING RESPONSIBILITY PAYMENTS (TLRs) : UPDATE FOR DIVISIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS
  30. 05-136-H&S - LOCAL HEALTH AND SAFETY STRUCTURES: Advice to Divisions and Associations, forwarded to John Osborne.
  31. From CASE: Conference Sat 19th November, UL Union on Only the best for all!. Also copies of Case Notes Issue 11 October 2005, "Doors to increased parental involvement begin to open".
  32. From the Anti-SATs Alliance - change of website to www.rethinked.org.uk . Campaign is to focus pro tem on promoting alternatives to SATs rather than a simple boycott. Publication "Another School is Possible" expected soon.
    Section B: Regional: Regional Office to report.
  33. ¤ Congratulations to Hilary Bucky who has been appointed Regional Secretary. Region is now looking for a Regional Official to complete permanent staffing of RO.
  34. Invitation to the official opening of the E Region office at Kentford, 13:30 on Tuesday 22nd November.
  35. Next ERC meeting, Nov 5th. First one at Kentford.
    Section C: Division / Executive Committee:
  36. ¤ Re-structuring: Circulars from Division on How do we respond and on non-statutory nature of RIG were followed by We'll speak for you and a model letter from HQ to send to governing bodies setting out the NUT's view on restructuring and seeking no loss of salary. A very wide range of responses from schools: Secondary restructuring is proving the most detrimental. Some members are facing a £5,000 drop in salary. Secretary has pledged support to all individuals facing losses, is urging a full objection, personal and collective, to such restructuring proposals, and is encouraging schools to ballot where feeling is strong. So far, just one school has indicated that they might wish to ballot. We need to be geared up to deal with any grievances which follow. NASUWT secretary has confirmed that they will not be taking any action in protest against restructuring which disadvantages their members. It is down to us, as usual.
  37. Section 188 notices issued (for Easter + September 2006) for Freeman Primary and Roman Hill Middle School.
  38. ¤ Meeting with Rosalind Turner re. new structure for the Directorate (13/10/5). RT confirmed that the existing Areas will stay, as will PRUs as an area resource, not taken over by the 13 localities. Services can be bought in at locality level, rather than school level, by the locality forums. Much discussion about how commissioning can take place in localities if this includes up to 28 LMS school budgets and independent Governing Bodies. The current proposals are available on the Schools Portal. We expressed our concern at the distance between decision making and the elected councillors. Also danger of "mainstream" education being sidelined as the whole structure is being set up to ensure delivery to the much smaller percentage who will required Psychological and Social Service, etc., support. But it is all being tied in with "the community", joining up Social Services and Education for young people. The new divide will be between Young People and Adults provision, including Libraries.
  39. ¤ The whole-day symposium requested by JNC on 14-19 reorganisation in Suffolk materialised as a half-day seminar "on the work of the 14-19 locality groups" on November 1st at Belstead House, with Acting Director of Learning and Judith Mobbs on , November 1st.
    Gave more detailed information about localities. Very few certainties except that there will be huge changes. 13 "localities" based on Upper/High pyramids have been set up already. Most are contiguous with 18 community clusters which will plan delivery of the integrated services to children and young people.
    We are still unclear how individual school budgets and independent governing bodies will work collaboratively to "commission" goods and services, including specialist SEN it appears (although this depends on who you ask). These localities will have to work out between them, with local training providers, LSC, SCC, colleges and voluntary sector, how to provide the full range of academic and vocational/applied syllabuses to all 14-19 pupils. DJET says there will be several models adopted in Suffolk - because of the differences in nature of existing provision (e.g. compare Ipswich area to Stradbroke-Hartismere are - widely differing existing provision).
    Localities will have to ensure that they can offer, either themselves or in federation/collaboration with colleges, etc: young apprenticeships (from age 14); all 14 "lines" of Specialised Diplomas (in vocational subjects) as well as the General Diplomas and a full range of AS and A3 courses for sixthformers. It will also be a statutory requirement to provide Level 2 English and Maths courses to all post-16 students if they have not reach that level.
    Where will all the staff come from? Has to be in place by 2010, but training institutions have not yet begun to prepare new teachers for these innovations, let alone plan in-service training for existing teachers. Great problems ahead, not least re. pay and conditions of teachers - are you a teacher if you are doing that work in a school, but not in a college? Where does school teaching stop and FE take over? If non-teachers "train" 14-year olds in the workplace or a college, why should they be paid less than a teacher doing the same work in a school which has made the provision? Can schools make provision for engineering, etc., themselves? Who makes the final decisions? The four "options" for restructuring 14-19 in Suffolk appeared to be:
    - Federation of 11-16/11-19 schools
    - 16-19 Centre parented by groups of schools
    - hub and spoke arrangements (e.g. schools around central provision)
    - single centralised provider (large school or FE provider)
    - All age campus.
  40. Meeting with County Personnel on Redundancy Handling 2005 (2nd November)
    AA reported that the CYP directorate was still to be involved in the decision whether a school should declare a Section 188 notice and before CSD took over re. personnel issues. Important to get CYP financial approval for any proposals. Will be a contact at Area level. We asked for this to be included in the timeline for schools declaring a redundancy. We also asked that the LEA includes in info to staff/unions any communications with the school warning of financial problems.
    We raised the issue of redundancies declared for Christmas and Easter. All agreed that these should be avoided, and avoidable given 3-year budgets. There should be no sudden surprises. Authority should be monitoring closely, too. This posed the danger of excessive (and inappropriate) use of Fixed-Term contracts. CSD is still advising heads to make temporary appointments if reductions are likely, but admit that one year contracts must be included in the "reductions" proposed. Worrying trend of NQTs being appointed to temporary posts (legitimate or not) and then finding that they cannot complete their induction year if appointed late, or need an extension. Schools not always following LEA guidelines, but the Authority has little power to stop a school making temporary appointments where this goes against LEA policy. Also a new phenomenon of proposing phased reductions (e.g. one to go at Easter and a second in September): very unacceptable if compulsory redundancy involved; potential unfairness towards volunteers,
    With CSD and the new CC structure, there is a need for the Authority to improve links between finance (CYP) and personnel (CSD). E.g. CSD approve appointments, but may not have been alerted by CYP of financial problems. CSD not getting as much intelligence on financial situation as before. We said we could help if info in CYP hands is made available - should be available in any case under FoI Act.. JP proposed joint training for personnel and finance officers in addition to more training in financial management of schools for heads and governors.
    Timing - It was agreed that CYP need to be involved around Christmas re. financial warnings and to give clearance to Governing Bodies (i.e. that SCC will meet costs) for any declaration of Section 188s in Jan-Feb. We asked that once this meeting takes place, there should be a set time for the Section 188 letter to go out and a date set for the meeting. This should be a soon as practicable, giving reasonable notice of the meeting.
    LEA documentation on Redundancy, promised some time ago, is still not finalised. There is a draft pack for heads on redundancy in W Area. AA is preparing to put all Personnel Manual documents on the School Portal. He is saying this should be a reduced version, but we asked that all the background material needs to there too, in addition to a quick checklist of what has to be done when.
    NASUWT raised the issue of Instructors' contracts. AA confirmed that they still contained the clause that said they should be terminated if a qualified teacher was found to fill the vacancy. Apparently, this has not been changed by the new staffing regulations (?).
    Gavin Bultitude is the new financial officer for CYP directorate. Bob Smith is also still looking after the details of education finance.
    It was agreed that the group would meet again in January when more information re. individual schools' situation would be emerging. One area of concern was the very small schools. One school is already operating on 1.9 fte qualified teachers and it is clear some federal solution needs to be looked at, or the school will face closure. As before, this should be considered earlier rather than when it is too late and the word "closure" is out in the community.
  41. From Schools Forum: (1) Re: School Meals grants, the first £400k will go direct to Catering and will accommodate their £300k shortfall. School Forum also agreed to support the LA's proposal that the second £400k go to Catering as well. There were voices against and some proposals for the use to which it might be put, some were valuable. (2) School Forum has set up a sub-group to advise on the future structure, processes of and membership of the new arrangements. This will report back early December and be in place for 2006. There is draft good practice and awaited guidelines which will employed in the discussion.
  42. Philip Snowden (CSD UK) has organised a seminar on proposals for new consultation arrangements between SCC and the relevant Unions. Novotel on November 14th. Proposed to keep something like the JNC, but to add a "Children and Young People's
  43. ¤ From Andrew Guite: TR's report re. the CHILDREN, SCHOOLS AND YOUNG PEOPLE'S SERVICES SCRUTINY COMMITTEE meeting on 15th September 2005.
  44. Papers from SCC:
    Children, Schools and Young People's Services Scrutiny Committee Unconfirmed minutes of CSYPSSC meeting on 15th September, on Looked after Children's Services
      Agenda for 3rd November:
    Paper CYP 05/6 Pupil Attainment 2005
    - introduction by Rachael Black
    - National Assessment Framework - over view and headlines for 2005 attainment (Martin Clark)
    - Analysis of Strengths and Weaknesses (Janet Wellings, F, KS1&2); Kevin Haddock (KS3&4); Judith Mobbs Post 16).
  45. From Suffolk WAMG: NOTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 28TH SEPTEMBER 2005. Casework has involved more difficulties with PPA not being granted, and even one Secondary school still imposing some of the "Forbidden Tasks" such as chasing up absences.
  46. From CSD HR Personal Information questionnaire: giving details of personal information held by the employer and requesting further information on ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability, etc. Some concerns, notably from Ipswich Association who took the matter up with Authority officers
  47. From Authority: School Organisation Plan 2005-2010, dated August 2005
  48. From J Crompton: Copies of the forms and guidance to be adopted for the transfer of pupils between schools at parents' request (i.e. when there is no new address).
  49. Cheque for £200 sent to Ruth Campbell for the Cuban Solidarity Campaign Challenge. Thank you letter received back from Ruth.
  50. Health & Safety: John Osborne to report.
    Section D: Local Associations

Date of next meeting: January 26th 2006. Venue to be confirmed

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