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Issue 60, Summer Term 2016


Stepping Up!
At this years
Annual NUT Conference
there was a high profile
for members from the
Northern Region and in
particular for a number
of those having the
opportunity to speak at
the rostrum.
From those Northern
Region delegates

new National President

Anne Swift (North
Yorkshire) made the
experience less stressful
and one they will no
doubt repeat at
conferences in the
future. If you have
never attended National
Conference before, why
not give it some
Merike Lawlor
consideration in the
(Stockton) and Nik Jones future? It is a vital role
(Vale of Derwent) all
in representing the
found themselves
members of your
addressing those
association as well as a
gathered in the
great way to network
Brighton Conference
with colleagues!
Hall. No doubt the
presence in the Chair of

Joe Bann (Durham) , Jill

McManus (Regional Council
Chair) and Vera Jackson
(Regional Council ViceChair) meet Labour Leader

Jeremy Corbyn at the NUT

Annual Conference in

Keeping Schools Creative!

Teachers in the Northern Region have been collaborating with artists to start a campaign highlighting the
importance of the arts in the school curriculum. Keeping Schools Creative was started after NUT activists Nik
Jones, Bob Webb and Sarah Kilpatrick recognised the correlation between the narrowing of the curriculum and the
dramatic increase in mental health concerns amongst their students. Firm in their belief that access to creativity
and freedom of expression is vital to the wellbeing of children, they sought support from fellow trade union the
National Society for Education in Art and Design.
Alongside a prominent social media campaign, two conference events have been set up in order to engage with
parents and the wider public. Combining informal discussions with a range of workshops led by the mental health
charity Mind, teaching colleagues and academics, the morning session aims to speak directly to families and
teachers about the current threats to a broad and balanced curriculum. Alongside this, artists Susan Coles and
Traci Cain are running free art workshops for families attending the event and the afternoon is given over to an
Education Question Time with panellists including Christine Blower, Kevin Courtney and Anne Swift.
The first event was held at Yorks National Railway Museum on Saturday 21st May and Newcastle upon Tynes
Discovery Museum will host the second conference on Sunday 19th June. Follow the team on twitter
@schoolscreative and get in touch if you would like to host your own Keeping Schools Creative Event locally. We
have a network of activists waiting to assist in this important campaign.

Northern Regional Training was held in the

Castle Green Hotel in Kendal this year and delegates
were not only treated to first class workshops but
also wonderful surroundings , great food and
pleasant weather. David Wilson (National Organiser)
led the opening plenary on The White Paper and
other plenaries/workshops included a range of
subjects from Making Mapping Effective and
Academies and TUPE to Chat groups of members
with similar roles in their own associations.
Feedback from the training has been extremely
positive and the Regional Training Implementation
Group are already considering Regional Training

Many schools responded to the Government

White Paper by deciding to jump the gun and
form a Multi-Academy Trust (or MAT) before
being forced into academy status. The Z turn by
Nicky Morgan has, however, given some
breathing space to schools and there is now no
need for many of these planned MATs to come
into existence. The NUT has always opposed the
academisation of any school and this is also true
of MATs. There is always an alternative to doing
the governments work and as evidence clearly
shows that schools remaining within the local
authority are certainly no worse and in many
cases better off when considering school
improvement, there is every reason for members
to oppose the conversion of any local authority
school into an academy on the assumption that
there is no option. We will of course continue to
represent all members wherever they are
employed but also believe that the arguments
against planned MATs in the Northern Region
should be shelved and the resolutions of local
councils such as Gateshead MBC lends strength
to this view. Find out more about our stance on
academies as well as useful advice here:
Issue 60, Summer Term 2016

David Wilson (National Organiser) leading a

plenary session on The White Paper

On the climb-down by Nicky Morgan, acting General

Secretary Kevin Courtney said:
"This is a huge Government climb-down and is a testament
to the campaigning of teachers and parents. Within a week
of the White Paper being published demonstrations
occurred across the country organised by NUT members.
Two petitions calling for a halt to the proposal to force all
schools to become academies reached 150,000 signatures
each, and 200 parents met at the NUT headquarters. This
was an unprecedented outcry.
"This is the third major education u-turn by Government. In
a month we have seen baseline scrapped, SPaG Key Stage 1
tests scrapped and now the central plank of the White
Paper, forced academies. This is a clear indication that
Government policy is in tatters. Nicky Morgan needs to stop
and talk to the profession to work out a clear way forward. It
is time to end this ideological nonsense from this discredited
Government. They need to start adopting the right priorities
for education by talking to the profession. They should not
take extra powers to force all schools in specified local
authorities to become academies. The 8% cuts to budgets
that schools are facing need to be reversed. This is a huge
concern as it will impact on every school and every child."

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Concerned over examination issues? Dont just let off steam on social media!
To make your voice heard go to the NUT website and click on the Examinations Comments link
These comments go to the Standing Joint Committees set up by the Teacher Unions which have a direct input to the
Awarding Bodies and receive a report on the concerns which is published on their websites.
Exams have increasingly become an important part of the educational process, impacting on students futures, teachers
working lives and the evaluation and accountability of institutions. As they play such an important part in our education
system and teachers professional lives, it is essential that teachers have the opportunity to comment on them.
Serious issues concerning a particular exam, internal assessment, or some examined aspect that affects the grade of a
student or group of students, are customarily referred to the awarding bodies by centres.
However, there is another category of issues which SJCs are arguably better able to deal with and which, it is hoped, they
can be supported in doing so as efficiently and effectively as possible. These include matters related to individual examination questions or their validity; whether the examination is a fair reflection of the subject specification; whether examinations are suitably accessible for all candidates, including disabled students, students with special educational needs or
students with English as an additional language; and the administrative issues related to examinations.
These are not insignificant matters, as the continuing reporting of comments to SJCs demonstrates. They impact upon
the ability of candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding and for centres to ensure the conditions
which would best enable candidates to perform to the best of their ability are provided.
There is an SJC for each awarding body in England: AQA, Edexcel and OCR. There is, additionally, an SJC in Wales for
WJEC. Each consists of teachers from professional organisations including the NUT. Rita Morris (Middlesbrough) and
Mike Crilley (Newcastle) are your representatives on the AQA Standing Joint Committee.

Saturday 16th July

Northern Pride in Newcastle The
Northern NUT are once again supporting
Northern Pride. Come along and join in
the fun, help with the NUT stall and
march with the NUT in the parade.

Issue 60, Summer Term 2016

Join in the pride

celebrations and
parade start point at
Newcastle Civic Centre,
Barras Bridge,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
NE1 8QH where we'll
parade down
Street, up Percy
Street and in to
Exhibition Park the onto the
Town Moor

The NUT will also have a stall

there for the 2 days and would
welcome your help.
Contact Ian Grayson NUT National
Executive Member for Tyne and Wear to
volunteer on mobile 07793358036 or

The parade will start at

12pm. Please meet at Newcastle
Civic Centre from 11.30am

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Regional support for our stance against

buried entirely) and a meeting was
the White paper on Education could not held at the Royal Station Hotel on
have been more widespread and diverse. Saturday 21 May under the banner

Many local politicians from all parties

have voiced opposition to the wrong
priorities direction proposed in Nicky
Morgans latest assault on the
Education System of this country.
Gateshead MBC passed a motion
refusing to adhere to the forced
academisation of all schools ( a
measure subsequently shelved, if not

Hands Off Our Schools , where the

main speaker was Ian Mearns MP.
More events are planned in the
very near future so make sure you
follow the NUT regionally for full
details of when, where and how to
get involved.

Hilary Porter of Middlesbrough

NUT meets Andy McDonald MP,
supporter of the NUT opposition
to the Education White Paper.

The Durham Miners Gala The Big Meeting 9th July 2016
At a time when the government is attacking our fundamental human right to strike, the
Durham Gala is vital to keeping the spirit of solidarity alive and has always been a powerful
symbol of trade union and community values of equality, democracy and working people standing by each other. But now
the Gala needs your support. So it can fight for a fairer future for all and for the Gala to continue to be a beacon of hope and
solidarity next year and beyond, your support is needed. Please become a friend of the Gala, which can be done online
through direct debit. To join, visit:
This years Gala will be held in Durham on 9th July 2016 - the 132nd Big Meeting - The Durham Miners Gala, also known as
The Big Meeting is Britains biggest and most historic celebration of trade union values. First held in 1871, more than
150,000 people fill the streets every second Saturday in July to celebrate their heritage and the values of solidarity and community so go along and join us.

The National Union of Teachers is both a professional association and a trade union. It is the largest and most influential teachers'
organisation in Europe, recruiting only qualified teachers, or those who are on courses or in posts that will lead to teacher qualification.
Complete Protection. Being a member of the NUT brings access to the very best legal and professional protection. It gives you a service
unrivalled in the teaching profession.
Support and Advice. The NUT has a network of regional offices in England and NUT Cymru in Wales. Each office has experienced casework
officers and solicitors, as well as other expert staff to give confidential advice, information or assistance on employment rights and other
matters relating to your professional life.
Campaigning. The NUT campaigns for a reduction in working hours, the removal of excessive workload, and a better work-life balance. We
also campaign for fair pay and reform of the assessment system.
Experts in Education. We work on curriculum issues as well as pay and conditions of service.
Continuing Professional Development. Our continuing professional development programme is recognised as one of the best in the country.
Benefits and Services. We offer a wide range of membership benefits and services. Our members save hundreds of pounds a year by
accessing discounts available through their membership.
Equal Opportunities. Our groundbreaking policy work on equalities issues has been adopted by schools, local authorities and other
government institutions.
Young Teachers. We have a thriving young teachers section for all full members under 36. To find out more, visit our website
One Union for all Teachers. The NUT campaigns consistently for professional unity in the teaching profession. We believe that a single
professional body, articulating the views of the profession, would benefit both children and teachers.
Education for All. We campaign for a good local school for every child and for every community. We are also a member of the Global
Campaign for Education, working for every child in the world to have a primary school education by 2015.

NUT Northern Region

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