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Notes for September 2008

[Previous meeting June 2008]


Suffolk Division NUT

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


Thursday September 25th 2008

Venue: Belstead Brook Hotel, Ipswich

Apologies already recorded: Peter Byatt, Paul Widdowson.

Section A: National with National Executive Report

  1. National Executive Report: Kendra Deacon: Kendra's written report for June 2008,   report for July 2008
  2. Advice to Reps re. UNISON ACTION
  3. There are important changes in the regulations for the induction of NQTs from September 2008 by the Education (Induction Arrangements for School Teachers) (England) Regulations 2008.  The new regulations will:
  4. Form 18 received re. Conference Representation. Council to appoint delegates ex officio, and to arrange for hotel bookings, etc.
  5. 08-171-H&S - ADVICE FOR MEMBERS WHO EXPERIENCE MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS: ‘Keeping Happy and Healthy: Advice for NUT Members who Experience Mental Health Conditions’ makes clear that although the NUT cannot offer medical advice or counselling, help is available to address the problems with the work environment which may be the cause of the mental health condition.  Booklet available from the Health and Safety alphabetical briefings section of  The role of the Teacher Support Network is highlighted in terms of provision of coaching, counselling, information, money advice and financial support.   Other issues addressed in the guidance document are:
  6. 08-170-M&C - DATE OF YOUNG TEACHERS' CONFERENCE 2009 The Young Teachers’ Conference 2009 will be held at Stoke Rochford Hall, the Union’s national training centre, near Grantham in Lincolnshire over the weekend of Friday, 5 June to Sunday, 7 June. 
  9. 08-167-EEO - NUT WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY RECEPTION: ‘A FAIRER FUTURE FOR ALL – VALUING WOMEN TEACHERS WORLDWIDE’ – FRIDAY, 3 OCTOBER 2008, NUT HEADQUARTERS. The event is intended to raise awareness of gender disparity within the teaching profession worldwide.  The reception will be addressed by Christine Blower, NUT Acting General Secretary, and representatives from Education International (EI), the Department for International Development (DfID), Oxfam, and Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO).
  10. 08-166-SALS - NUT SUBMISSION TO THE SCHOOL TEACHERS' REVIEW BODY (STRB): The NUT has submitted evidence to the STRB on a range of matters including teachers’ pay, leadership group pay arrangements, teachers’ roles and responsibilities, SEN allowances and the Excellent Teacher Scheme.  The NUT will be meeting the STRB to give evidence at an oral hearing, which is scheduled to take place in October.  The STRB has made only indicative recommendations on teachers’ pay from September 2009 and 2010, conditional upon its being allowed a further remit to review those recommendations prior to their implementation.  The Secretary of State has, therefore, asked the STRB to report by January 2009 “whether teachers’ pay should be increased by 2.3% from 1 September 2009, pending the outcome of your review of teachers’ pay for the period from 1 September 2008” and also providing a remit for that further review to be undertaken later in 2009 prior to a further report.
  11. 08-165-L&PS - MATERNITY RIGHTS, PREGNANCY DISCIMINATION, THIRD PARTY HARASSMENT AND FLEXIBLE WORKING UPDATE:  The guidance documents provide an update on recent changes to the law on pregnancy discrimination, maternity rights and third party harassment and a proposed extension of the right to request flexible working. 
    Harassment on Grounds of Sex New section 4A of the SDA gives a new definition of harassment and removes the causal link between unlawful discriminatory sexual harassment and the sex of the person being harassed.  The old statutory definition required that the harassment must be on the ground of ‘his or her sex,’ which meant that the legislation did not protect an employee from harassment on the ground of someone else’s sex, such as the sex of the harasser.  The new definition provides that employees are protected from harassment if the unwanted conduct is related to ‘his or her sex or that of another person’. It makes it clear that men and women are protected from harassment on grounds of sex whether it is the sex of the harasser, the harassed or a person that the harassed person associates with.
    Harassment by Pupils or Parents or Other Third Parties The SDA has also been amended to cover specifically third party harassment. The NUT has argued consistently that teachers should be protected from harassment from parents and pupils.  The new sections 6(2B) to 6(2D) provide that if an employee is subjected to harassment in the course of his or her employment and the employer has failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the third party from harassing him or her, the employer will be treated as subjecting the employee to harassment. The employer will only be liable if it knows that the employee has been subjected to harassment by a third party (any third party) in the course of his or her employment on at least two other occasions. Divisions are urged to ensure that:
    • local harassment and bullying procedures and or grievance procedures permit teachers to use the procedures to complain about harassment by third parties such as pupils and parents as well as harassment by employers and colleagues;
    • authority and school pupil behaviour policies prohibit unlawful harassment of teachers and include procedures for preventing and tackling unlawful harassment on grounds of sex, transgender status, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief and age;
    • teachers are aware that they should inform head teachers in writing of harassment by pupils, parents or other third parties
    Flexible working The Government proposes to extend the right to request flexible working to parents of children up to the age of 16. The regulations have not yet been published so there is no implementation date as yet, it is however anticipated that the change will be introduced in April 2009.
    Terms, conditions and pay during Maternity Leave

    The regulations improve the rights of women on maternity leave by removing the distinction between (a) terms and conditions during ordinary maternity leave (OML) and (b) terms and conditions during additional maternity leave (AML).  New section 6A of the SDA will apply to women whose babies are expected to be born on or after 5 October 2008. Women who qualify will be entitled to the same terms and conditions during AML as OML.   During OML and AML, women will be:

    1. bound by their obligations under their contract;
    2. entitled to all terms and conditions under their contract, except full pay;
    3. entitled to contractual/occupational maternity pay, if they qualify; and
    4. entitled to statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance pay, if they qualify.

    So, all terms and conditions of employment except those relating to normal pay will apply during the statutory maternity leave period of 52 weeks.

    Similarly, women on maternity leave must not be required to return school lap tops during their leave simply on the ground that they are on maternity leave.

  12. 08-162-H&S - NUT THERMOMETERS: The NUT Shop, available at:, (needs password) now sells indoor, wall-mounted, thermometers with the NUT logo.  The thermometers clearly indicate the minimum temperature of 18°C for classrooms under the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999, as well as NUT Policy on the maximum comfortable working temperature (26°C).  Cost £3.49 each.
  13. 08-163-EEO - OFSTED PILOT SCHOOL INSPECTIONS: AUTUMN 2008: OFSTED intends to pilot various aspects of the proposed new inspection framework including:

    LGBT Teachers’ Conference 200817-18 October 2008 Old Ship Hotel  Brighton

    Black Teachers’ Conference 2008  31 October- 2 November 2008 Stoke Rochford Hall Grantham

    Disabled Teachers’ Conference  Saturday, 8 November 2008 NUT Headquarters London

  15. 08-161-COS - EMPLOYMENT OF SUPPLY TEACHERS: Continuing to campaign for STP&CD conditions for supply teachers and requesting "success stories" from Divisions.  Secretary to report on sick pay arrangements in Suffolk for Supply Teachers from JNC minutes.  Responses to the 2007 survey indicated that the following agencies paid STPCD rates of pay.  E-Teach, Hayes, Reed, Link Education, Capita, Solo, Protocol and Supreme. 
  16. 08-160-O&A -ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2009 – CARDIFF: FRIDAY, 10 APRIL TO TUESDAY, 14 APRIL 2009.  Forms 427 for the submission of Conference Motions, deadline 15th November.
  17. 08-159-CCU - WINNING THE CAMPAIGN: report on Divisional Secretaries' Briefing on Sept 16th. The meeting was presented with independent information on pay that demonstrated that teachers, as a graduate profession, were behind their colleagues in both the private and public sectors.  Recruitment and retention were down overall – 5 per cent in both primary and secondary sectors in England and in Wales by 10 per cent in secondary schools and 7 per cent in primary schools.  Specific subject areas fared worse, including physics which was down by 13.9 per cent.  In order to plug gaps and survive in an ever competitive market, schools are asking teachers to teach outside their subject areas to the extent that some are teaching in subjects for which they do not even possess a GCE!
  18. 08-155-SALS - PART-TIME TEACHERS: PAY AND WORKING TIME: The NUT’s guidance sets out detailed advice on the provisions for determining pay and on the proper application of the provisions on working time and payment for additional working time.  The NUT’s advice seeks, in particular, to avoid any unfair or potentially discriminatory treatment of part-time teachers which would disadvantage them in comparison to full-time colleagues.  Full guidance on new Part Time Pay and Conditions is reproduced on our website.
  20. 08-153-SUP - RETIRED TEACHERS' CONFERENCE 2008: Tuesday, 21 October in Mander Hall
  23. 08-148-EEO - OFSTED SCHOOL INSPECTIONS Annual Conference 2008 agreed to conduct a national campaign to show the inadequacies of the OFSTED system, including the demographic bias of schools placed into an OFSTED category of concern and the workload and stress caused to members by the inspection system. Part of the campaigning work outlined in the resolution related to the collection of reports of concerns from members.  HQ is asking for a brief note of any casework arising from OFSTED inspections or schools in OFSTED categories over the summer 2008 term.
      The other teacher organisations, including ATL and NASUWT, have accepted proposals from the DCSF which could worsen part-time teacher's pay and conditions. The NUT has responded to the draft 2008 STP&C Document and has called for the following changes to the draft STPCD to protect part-time teachers:
    • guidance making clear that part-time teachers are entitled to PPA time;
    • guidance to prevent the vulnerability of part-time teachers to variations in their working time;
    • provisions to enable part-time teachers who undertake the full responsibilities of a TLR to receive the full payment;
    • deterrence of the practice of scattering part-time teachers’ hours across the week to prevent their taking up other employment; and
    • a delay in the implementation of the new provisions to 1 January 2009, to give sufficient time for statements of working time to be agreed with individual teachers.
  26. 08-145-EEO EARLY YEARS PROFESSIONAL STATUS: NUT Briefing.  The NUT is the only teachers’ organisation which is campaigning to protect QTS in the early years:
    • It has raised the issue a number of times with Government ministers and is pressing for Government to clarify the relationship between EYP and QTS.
    • The NUT is pressing local authorities to develop early years policies which would protect the status, employment and conditions of service of existing early years teachers. It produced a model protocol for divisions and associations to discuss with local authorities in May 2006, contained in Union Circular 06-114/EEO.
    • The NUT has developed a dedicated “Early Years Campaign” area within its website, which provides a variety of information for members on pay and conditions issues as well as downloadable and customisable campaigning materials to protect the employment of qualified teachers in the early years.
  28. 08-142-SALS - UPDATE ON SCHOOL FUNDING ISSUES (on Hearth): The results of the NUT’s funding survey highlight significant problems for 2008-09 in relation to school funding across England and Wales.  The NUT’s concerns were highlighted by information from local authorities reported recently in the Times Educational Supplement.  This showed that some 7,700 schools in England will receive budget increases that are significantly below the Government’s estimate of the increase in school costs.  Schools’ problems will be intensified by the continuing high level of inflation.  The Hearth section on School Funding also contains documents on a range of issues such as DCSF proposals for changes to the funding system and the school funding settlement for the period 2008 to 2011.

Section B: Regional
  1. Des Hart to report.
    Section C: Division
  2. SOR: Lowestoft: The Statutory Notices for the proposed SOR in Lowestoft have been published with 6 weeks for consultation responses (deadline 23rd October).  The plan changes all current 3/4-9 schools to3/ 4-11 schools.  St Margaret's, Lowestoft is also to receive an increase in planned intake from September 2010.  Blundeston, Corton, Gunton, St Margaret's, Carlton Colville, Dell, Elm Tree. Fen Park, Grove, and Pakefield primaries are to grow considerably (by around 1/3rd at least).  The current notices change the age ranges for Kirkley, Benjamin Britten and Denes High Schools from 13-18 to 11-18, with the note: "Depending on the outcome of the proposal to establish a new post-16 provision in Lowestoft the upper age limit of the three high schools may be reduced to 16 at a future date.  MG is seeking information from the LA as to whether this will entail another statutory notice.  The Denes and Kirkley High will also have their capacity increased from 1055-1336 and from 864 5o 1361 respectively.  No change in capacity planned for Kirkley High.  Comments on this part of the proposals have to be submitted to Phil Whiffing by 10th October.  Part 4 of the notice involves the closure of the 8 Middle Schools, w.e.f. 31st August 2010.  Deadline for responses to this part of the notice is October 24th.  Part 5 is the established of a new 11-16 school as a Foundation school with a Foundation, called the Lowestoft Learning Trust and is proposed by the three existing secondary schools, together with Lowestoft College, the 2 special schools and local business and voluntary sector partners (Adnams, Lifeskills Solutions, Sixth Form Colleges' Forum, Suffolk Association of Voluntary Organisations, SCC, University Campus Suffolk, YMCA Training and Young Suffolk  The school would be located on the site of Pakefield MS and would seek to specialise in either Science or Humanities "to complement the specialisms of the other three secondary schools in Lowestoft.  Note - no mention of plans for the 14-19 Diplomas!  The LSE has issued a consultation document on the proposals for new 16-19 provision in Lowestoft, which is basically to create a 16-19 centre on the same site as the FE College, which will entail the closure of the 3 existing sixth forms.  Deadline for responses is also October 24th.
  3. SOR elsewhere: Forest Heath: Proposals published for 22nd Sept.  No surprises, but no proposal for a Sixth-form centre, although the LA has warned that they may "have to" re-think if the LSC report comes out with something different.  The Middle Schools will be closed (with the exception of one of the Mildenhall Middles for an interim period to allow expansion of Mildenhall College.)  A proposal from the C of E to convert St Felix into a C of E 11-16 school has not been accepted on the grounds that it was impractical and was not in keeping with the SOR principles.  This proposal was also affected by the destruction of St Felix by fire.
  4. St Felix: (MG) Secretary sent a message of support to the head of St Felix and the LA concerning the total destruction by fire of the school, in August.   The site is now being cleared and the school will be re-formed in some temporary accommodation, on the school site, as soon as the former building is cleared and made safe. Neighbouring schools are currently hosting St Felix classes, being taught be St Felix teachers.  It is hoped to have the new St Felix "village" of temporary buildings ready for use after half-term.  Union reps at the CYP Forum have thanked and congratulated the Authority's officers involved in Shire and County Halls over their rapid response to the crisis.
  5. Unitary matters : Consultation Documents received from Suffolk and Norfolk County Councils.  MG wrote to Cllr Jeremy Pembroke expressing NUT concern over SCC's handling of education, and declining to support the Authority's bid for a Unitary Suffolk, as discussed and agreed in the May Division Council meeting. Received a standard pro forma reply, which totally ignored any of the points made, of course.
  6. MG sent out a circular to NUT Reps re. the proposed UNISON and UNITE strike action on 16/17 July.  It was based on HQ information but added guidance on situations where TAs and HLTAs take timetabled groups and classes.
  7. School Organisation - Felixstowe.  The Division has received the consultation paper on secondary reorganisation in Felixstowe.  The options are:
    Option 1: A single secondary school for Felixstowe Option 2: both Orwell and Deben to continue as separate schools
    If you agree with Option 1:
    Should 11-16 facilities be provided on the Orwell site and 16-19 on the Deben site?  
    Should these schools be (a) open to competition or (b) not open to competition  
    Qu 4: How concerned would you be by the lost of parental choice of school if Deben and Orwell become a single school?
    Qu 5: A single secondary school for Felixstowe for all students aged 11-19 could be created on the Orwell site.  Such a school would have approx 1800 students.  Do you think this would be too large a school?
    Consultation documents and response forms forwarded to SE Suffolk Association.
  8. Public Service Village, BSE (West Suffolk House).   This is still expected to come into use from April 2009, where SCC staff from Shire Hall and St Edmundsbury staff from Western Way will move into the new building.  The biggest issue is car parking.   SEBC and SCC have different existing car parking policies, at currently staff can park at Shire Hall for free. A joint committee is proposing:
    Yr 1 SCC to charge £1 per day; SEBC 60p  (SCC Chief Officers to pay £1.50)
    Yr 2 SCC and SEBC to charge £1.20 (SCC COs £1.50)
    Yr 3 All employees: £1.50
    SCC will continue not to charge those considered to be Essential Users at all. The NUT has raised the issue of unfairness over the allocation of "Essential user" status, as some peripatetic staff are not considered "essential" car users, while some senior officers are.  The joint committee has decided that it will not, however, review its EU policy, until after decisions have been made re. the Local Government Review.
    SCC proposes to give its staff on grades 1-4 50p per day extra, regardless of whether they use the car park - this was done re. Endeavour Ho, and is designed to encourage staff to use alternative transport (e.g. it can be pocketed if people walk/cycle, use a free bus or used to subsidise bus fares.
    Although not included in the current papers, it is intended that there will be a free bus services to WSH taking in the town centre, train and bus stations.
    We have been assured that there will be "ample" visitor parking spaces, but it is unclear if peripatetic staff will be able to be "visitors". 
  9. Soulbury Forum: (MG) At last LA has circulated us with a view to calling another meeting.  The proposal to transfer Advisory Teachers to Soulbury has been under discussion for over 18 months, and was to be implemented for 1st April 08, then set back to 1 Sept 08.  It is still the intention to backdate to 1st Sept, but the delay is complicating the transitional arrangements because another increment was due, under the old scale, for some postholders by then.
  10. County Music Service: (MG) The meeting due to be held in September was postponed by the LA on the grounds that there was nothing new to report.  The budgetary position is sound and we continue to press for no change in the "ownership" of CMS.  We see no need to outsource or turn CMS into an "arms length" trading service, because it is already showing itself capable of continuing with buy-back and charging for certain activities.  The Union has raised issues concerning conditions of service and contractual obligations where CMS management are asking long-serving instrumental tutors to become class teachers for Primary "New Opportunities" classes.  The NUT is raising the issue of whether staff can be forced to take on completely new work, for which they have had no training or qualifications, and where there has been no rigorous re-training programme organised by CMS, in advance of any timetable changes.
  11. Local Forum for Staff who work with Vulnerable Children: Barbara Robinson is attending for NUT.  In September meeting, BR raised issues re. the role and management of PRUs.
  12. Domestic Violence:  (a) The Corporate Policy Document: The policy document has been accepted in principle by the Partnership Board and has been assessed for Equality Impact.  The policy is supposedly being sent to Governing Bodies for their Autumn Term meetings.  The launch is still expected to be during White Ribbon week in October-November.
  13. Domestic Violence (b): Policy for Schools: The CYP Forum in September was reminded that the LA was going to set up a working party to work on the draft document submitted by NUT to work up a CYP policy to raise awareness of DV in schools and to support victims through work within schools and CYPS.
  14. Intimate Care: The CYP Forum in September acknowledged that this Working Party was also awaiting LA action to set up a meeting to examine exisiting policies and guidance and to collate best practice to be circulated to schools and the "children's dilivery" agencies.
  15. Teachers' Travel Scheme: (MG) This has been agreed at JNC, but we are still awaiting a copy of the circular which needs to go to schools for it to be implemented, and for the Union to be able to resolve some issues with individual schools, based on their own interpretation of County rules which, up to now, had never been written down.  The text of the teachers' travel agreement is available from the Suffolk NUT website.
  16. Sick-pay for EOTAS and regular supply teachers: (MG) The JNC meeting in July agreed this statement from the LA concerning sick pay for EOTAS tutors:  ”Sick pay for unattached teachers providing regular out of school tuition will be paid in accordance with the teachers’ conditions of service, as set out in the Burgundy Book.  Unattached teachers who work on a casual but regular basis, i.e. working in each week of the school year, whose employment at group tuition centres is judged to be equivalent to those on a contract, will receive sick pay based on their salary rate, which will include the 30% addition.*
    Sick pay entitlement will be assessed on the basis of length of service on a case by case basis.  Advisory Headteachers) Learning Support) will seek advice from the appropriate Area HR Manager (Schools).”(* The “30% addition refers to Suffolk’s practice of paying Out of School Tutors on the basis of 1 x 1265th annual salary for each contact hour, plus 30% for “directed time”.  This has the effect of paying 6 ½ hours for 5 “contact” hours.) 
  17. PRU issues: MG met with LA representatives:
  18. Press has quickly picked up on Graham taking over as County Secretary.  This week:Bonus for Maths vacancy at King Edwards plus students having to pay for text books at the same school. MG followed this up with a press release blaming restructuring for schools increasing salary bills and making students pay for it.
  19. School Staff Forum meeting 25/6/8: Chaired by Allan Cadzow. CYP management side wishes to reduce the number of meetings of the JNC to three a year.  This is being resisted by the TUs, and we are quoting the Partnership Agreement in our defence.  Reports included CSD services to schools: Area HR has now all been transferred to Constantint House, Ipswich.  So Lowestoft, Brandon and Haverhill are all served by staff who, if they have to visit, have to travel from Ipswich. Agenda quite light, as opposed to JNC!
  20. Teachers' JNC Panel Meeting 25/6/8 (MG):
    14-19 Implementation JNC received a report from martin Slattery, including: "The 14-19 strategy has a budget of some £3m over the next 3 years to support the Phase 2 Delivery Plan and its attendant workstreams: marketing , curriculum development, IAF, employer engagement, workforce development and CPD, accommodation, transport and VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) and Partnership working. (incidentally, that works out at around just £24,000 per year per educational establishment catering for KS4 and/or 16-19.
    Exit Surveys The LA have promised to ensure that these forms are always sent out to those leaving their posts for whatever reason and to report back on outcomes.
    Pupil Panels The Teachers' Panel lodged objections to pupil panels taking an active part in decision-making over appointments of teaching staff, particularly where there were internal candidates.
    Occupational Health and Stress The Teachers' Panel, as proposed by NUT, have expressed concern re. the Occupational Health Service over recent months.  There has been a rapid turn-over of staff and an apparent lack of knowledge about the JNC Agreement on Industrial Injury.  There has been confusion over "Industrial Injury" in the Benefits Agency sense and the terms of the Burgundy Book for occupational sick pay arrangements. 2 NUT cases have been awaiting a decision on "Industrial Injury" from OH for nearly 9 months, and the LA feels unable to set up the Ind Injury panel until they have had the initial assessment from OH.  In the meantime, members suffer half pay and nil pay, when possibly they are victims of conditions or an incident at work.
    National Challenge The NUT's resolution on "National Challenge", which named 3 Suffolk schools as "failing", was agreed by the Teachers' Panel and put to the JNC.
  21. The Union is involved in discussions re. restructuring at Langer P (MG), Kirkley Middle and Kirkley High (PW).  We anticipate more casework as the December deadline for the end of safeguarded Management Allowances approaches.
  22. Yellow Pages entry for Suffolk NUT.  (MG) At present we are listed free in the Bury St Edmunds Book, and pay to be included in the Ipswich and Norwich area books.  Presently all are Martin's contact details.  We should contact Yellow Pages in September to decide which addresses to use.  Publication dates are Aug 08 for Ipswich, Feb 09 for Cambridge and Norwich.
  23. Burston Rally: The Division was represented by a stall run by Bury St Edmunds NUT, assisted by colleagues from Norfolk NUT, including Kendra. It was a very wet day but not badly attended considering.  National President Bill Greenshields spoke well before disappearing to TUC Conference, and the Bury St Edmunds Banner was taken around the rainy circuit.  MG is lobbying for Eastern Region to invest in a suitable marquee to fly the NUT event at outside events.
  24. Teacher Representative Report ( Andrew Guite)
  25. Student and GTT Recruitment: Associations to report on their NQT/NA recruitment. MG and GW have contacted all trainees at the SCITTs, etc. and arranged to meet SCITT students in the first week of term (GW and PB).  Also all GTTP trainees have been contacted. 
  26. Health and Safety: Alan Wright to report.
  27. Treasurer: Paul Brewerton to report.  Assistant Division Secretary is seeking clarification re expenses.
  28. Conferences, etc.   To receive any reports submitted.
    Section D: Local Associations
  29. Recruitment activities for the new academic yearEvents in Waveney/Yoxford and Bury St Edmunds took place on 24th September.  Details on website.

Date of next meeting: November 13th 2008


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