This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
♦ The controversial fence erected around the playing field at the trust primary school at Widewell is to be removed ♦ Langley infants is demolished ♦ School meals in Plymouth up 6% in November ♦ 6th form proposed for Sir John Hunt—part of the Woodview Learning Community ♦ Tamar Ferry & Bridge tolls set to rise by 50% ♦ 25% of 13-17 yr old girls have been abused ♦ Record GCSE results ♦ Rumours abound that public sector pensions will be changed—probably from final salary to an average salary pension, after the next general election ♦ The World’s oldest man, the late Henry Allingham, said, “War’s stupid. Nobody wins. You might as well talk first. You have to talk last anyway.”
SureStart, BSF and EMAs are ♦ Privatise schools for profit— recommended for Tories say the chop
In a report produced by the Institute of Directors and the Taxpayers Alliance, How to save £50 billion, SureStart (£1,456m), Building Schools for the Future (£2,300m) and Educational Maintenance Allowances (£530m) are all recommended for abolition as, according to the report, they are “not performing”. Reducing non-frontline staff in health and schools by 10% would save another £921m. Just who non-frontline staff in schools actually are isn’t clear.
What you may have missed during August...
Rarely Cover— What It Means
With the introduction of the Rarely Cover arrangements the way cover is undertaken by teachers will change. Schools must have in place a robust policy that other staff are deployed when a teacher is absent. This will include planned known absences and when teachers call in sick on the first day. There should be sufficient colleagues available to maintain the obligation that teachers will rarely cover. Not splitting classes in primary schools when a teacher is absent is also covered by the new arrangements.
A member writes: More on page 2 “Can staff meetings be timetabled at lunchtime? What if The it’s ‘voluntary’?” government will Answer: NO and NO directed pay teachers This is notunder no time and 2.3% from circumstances can done. September 2009 this beschool We trust your will do and 2.3% all they can when in September discharging their duty of care to protect you 2010 from this sort of poor practice. You can refuse to attend with impunity. Tell your head teacher why you will not be attending and contact us immediately sell by date!
Independent of Government and not affiliated to any political party
How can we be sure that our policy is fair and transparent? Here’s one example—if a school employed just 2 staff for cover duties and the historical analysis of teacher absences showed that up to 5 teachers could be away on any particular day, it would not be appropriate to begin to use teaching staff to cover after the 2 colleagues were deployed as this would not be following the requirement that teachers should only rarely cover; additional staff would need to be engaged.
Specific Conditions of Rarely Cover
♦ The purpose is to reduce teacher workload ♦ Teachers can only be used for cover
circumstances in unforeseeable
WHAT IF COVER STAFF ARE BEING MISUSED? – If cover supervisors, TAs and HLTAs are being used in ways in which NUT members believe is damaging children’s educational opportunities it is very important that NUT members get in touch straight away. Not only would such misuse damage education opportunities for children, but it would also undermine the pay and conditions of qualified teachers. We maintain good relations with the unions that represent support staff and they have many concerns about the misuse and exploitation of cover supervisors, TAs and HLTAs and we will work with them to get limits enforced. Parents would also be very concerned about their children losing out by not having qualified teachers in the classroom. WHAT ABOUT CHANGES TO LEAVE OF ABSENCE AGREEMENTS? The other unions (not including the NUT) and the Government have issued a document suggesting that schools should review their leave of absence arrangements. This is not statutory guidance and schools do not have to follow it. The NUT is opposed to these policies being reviewed – any review at the moment is likely to lead to a worsening of provision. PROTECT YOUR CPD and EDUCATIONAL VISITS – Some schools may try to cut back on CPD and schools visits – this is very short sighted – please get in touch if this is an issue in your school.
♦ There is no cover target for each teacher; Rarely Cover [RC]
assumes other staff will be deployed to undertake class cover on all occasions and any non-contact periods [in addition to PPA time] should not be identified as possible cover periods. Previous year’s cover figures are immaterial and cannot be used “as a guide” as the new RC regulations override any previous cover policies
♦ All PPA time must be shown on timetables ♦ No detriment means that a teacher with 21
teaching periods out of 25 [for example] in 2008/09 will have the same allocation [or less] in 2009/10. This applies in PRUs, primary, special and secondary schools. An increase in teaching time would be an increase in workload are considered for cover, the exhaustion of all other possible alternatives is assumed. It is clearly best practice to deploy qualified [supply] teachers and this would meet the desire for high standards and continuity of learning. However, the comprehensive list in the WAMG & NUT guides indicates the other non-teaching staff that should be used before considering using teachers
♦ Cover Supervision—before any members of the teaching staff
♦ If an analysis of progress made by pupils is shown to be less
than expected due to support staff being deployed for cover, the only option available to management is to employ qualified supply teachers; they would be unable to begin to use teaching staff more often as an option. Further information may be found on the NUT national website and a list of FAQs on Plymouth NUT’s website— see page 4
NUT General Secretary Christine Blower was a welcome visitor to the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival in July. She helped distribute NUT information from our marquee and signed up new members. Tony Benn gave another inspirational speech to the massed members of the trade union movement
What will a 10% cut look like in your school?
RARELY COVER—NO DETRIMENT
Please check your timetable—if your teaching load has increased then your school is probably acting outside the government’s attempt to reduce our workload, using the new RARELY COVER regulations as an excuse. You can challenge this and cite the School Teachers Pay & Conditions Document. There should be no increase in your workload. You are legally allowed to benefit from this new entitlement and ‘local deals’ are not allowed. Budgetary problems cannot be used to remove the legal obligation for teachers to Rarely Cover. The no detriment clause has been accepted by all the teacher and HT unions and professional associations. The only teachers who can be asked to cover more than rarely are those employed “wholly” or “mainly” to do cover—that’s PPA cover teachers, floating teachers [in some schools] and supply teachers. The protection of ‘rarely cover’ applies to SEN teachers and other support teachers – who should be able to concentrate on their key work. From September 2009 the law says that teachers will only cover rarely. This is an important and long overdue victory for a longstanding NUT demand. THIS IS A NEW STATUTORY RIGHT – it is not an optional extra that HTs can choose to implement or not. NO CUTS TO NON-CONTACT TIME – Schools are not allowed to cut non–contact time in order to finance ‘rarely cover’. Non-contact time (as PPA) is guaranteed to be at least 10%. But wherever non-contact time is more than that it is protected by a NO DETRIMENT clause in the School Teachers Pay and Conditions document. WHAT ABOUT RE-TIMETABLING? The non-statutory guidance from the Government and other unions suggest that schools could re-timetable (after consultation) to cope with a long-term absence. This is open to abuse and should not be an automatic response or a way of coping if a teacher resigns early for example. There should still be no increase in workload. ACTION TO ENFORCE THE LAW – The NUT will back members to enforce this contract through ‘compliance’ orders and through industrial action. If there is any problem in your school, get in touch. WHO SHOULD DO THE COVER THEN? – The NUT believes that LA should work with schools to establish local supply pools where possible – cutting out supply agencies. These supply teachers would then be in the pension scheme and could be working in the same schools regularly – so that children know them and so that they know the pastoral staff, school routines, etc. Much more efficient. WHAT ABOUT COVER SUPERVISORS? The Government has allowed schools to employ ‘cover supervisors’ to do ‘short-term’ cover work. They are not permitted to ‘teach’ but only to ‘supervise’. Schools may also deploy HLTAs, TAs and other staff before calling on teachers. The Government doesn’t define what short–term is and the NUT has heard of cases where cover supervisors have been used for paternity leave and even suggestions of them being used for maternity absences. The NUT would prefer that supply teachers were used for every cover, but if cover supervisors are used we say they the MAXIMUM time that they should ever be used for is the first 3 days of a cover. We are putting this limit forward because the Government and its partners are not suggesting one. It is the same as the old limit for shortterm cover after which supply teachers were always brought in.
Moved schools? School name changed? Update your membership records at HQ Call 0845 300 1666 today!
Plymouth people against academies and trust schools www.handsoffplymouthschools.org.uk
Shrouded in a culture of secrecy, academies, amongst other things, have reduced maternity benefits, increased the length of the school day and directed time and cut school holidays—just thought you’d like to know...
PLYMOUTH NUT GENERAL MEETING Thursday 22nd October China House 1700—1800 FREE BUFFET!
MORE BALLS...did you know that [according to the BBC] when he was a journalist Ed Balls opposed the minimum wage?
LGBT TEACHERS’ CONFERENCE
Saturday 10th October NUT HQ London Members of the NUT who identify as LGBT have the opportunity to meet other LGBT members, receive updates about campaigns and discover ways to get involved. Details from email@example.com and the national website
Plymouth NUT website http://tinyurl.com/plymnut
Plymouth Division: firstname.lastname@example.org 01503 240527 Regional Office: email@example.com,uk 01392 258028