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A GOOD LOCAL SCHOOL FOR EVERY CHILD WORKLOAD BALLOT TIME FOR ACTION!
The guidelines now in your school give excellent examples and advice on how to combat the excesses of performance management, lesson observations, meetings and general workload. If your school refuses to listen to your legitimate desire to reduce teachers’ workload and ignores the chance to reach a sensible agreement, you may choose to vote for [legal] industrial action. Any loss of pay will be covered by the NUT.

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THE 66th EDITION FOR ALL PLYMOUTH TEACHERS FEBRUARY 2007

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GO FOR IT!
Member after member told us that their workload was relentlessly increasing, but they felt unable to tackle the issue directly with school management. Well, now they can! There are scores of issues covered by the ballot where members are asking for changes. We are happy to advise our membership in schools whether you are few or many. Just call us to a meeting. The message is clear—our working conditions must improve or the National Union of Teachers will back your action in your school!
A recent visitor to Plymouth Division was Bill Greenshields our National junior vicePresident. Bill is seen with John Leonard [Plymouth NUT’s Membership Secretary] holding the National Membership Award certificate, Division Secretary David Smale and Regional Secretary Andy Woolley, at The China House

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“Cover Supervisers may only be used when no actual teaching takes place” [statement from the DfES & RIG Guidance]. Schools will receive the NUT standards mark in a public ceremony in April. To join in contact our President Martin Edmonds [see back page]

“Trust” Schools Update page 2

Independent of Government and not affiliated to any political party Call the Joining Hotline 0845 300 1669

UNITY
MAKES SENSE!

TRUST SCHOOLS UPDATE

A naked Sooty asks Education Secretary Alan Johnson MP about the new key stage tests

What’s that Sooty? More TESTING! TESTING! TESTING!?

What Lord Adonis [the unelected PUSSS] says above applies to all schools, so why would he want “flexibilities” in the way staff are managed?
He states quite clearly that the external “partner” will appoint a number of governors who will share the responsibility for employing staff, manage the school’s assets and set the admissions policy. No matter what assurances and promises the current governors give, parents, staff and the local authority will have no say if the governors later decide [amongst themselves] that they favour a different social mix of children or want to abandon the pay and conditions of the staff they employ. There is no mechanism, once the trust decision is made, for staff or parents to object—the “consultation” does not allow a democratic ballot of parents or staff about the future of their school in the heart of their community—if parents know what’s best for their children why not ask them?

PAY & INFLATION The NUT were the first teachers’ union to call on the government to review next September’s pay •• ••¬ rise now that inflation had passed through 3% and looked to be heading towards 4% The RIG partners Right Headmaster, now that you’ve relaxed the had accepted wearing of religious symbols, as a Jedi, may I only a 2.5% rise
Christian Muslim Hindu Jedi Sikh Jew Buddhist

May The Farce Be With You

carry a light sabre?

A supply teacher writes, “I passed my NQT induction in 2004, but I’ve recently been seriously considering giving it all up. I have just received information concerning a job at a local College for a "study supervisor" (it's all in the title!!); to all intents and purposes it is a cover teacher post. Having read the job description I am convinced that it’s a cheap way of getting a supply teacher to cover lessons even though they say in the "short term" absence of colleagues. How do they define "short term"? Is there a designated time limit? I feel like writing to the HT and explaining why I will not be applying for the post, although I really could do with a job, and it is in a classroom. Is the important and crucial job of teaching our children coming down to a simple equation of money and balanced budgets? A friend of mine is a classroom assistant and she said that the parents organised a petition against their children being "supervised" during teachers’ absence by TAs and LSAs. Needless to say the school went with the parents as they knew that their support in other areas of school life was vital, so they employed supply teachers to cover PPA time and other long-term teacher absences. When speaking to friends with school-aged children about what’s probably happening in their school, they are horrified. Parents are being kept in the dark about this. I think if they knew they would be angry that their child's education is often being provided by unqualified staff. I have contacted several local schools and could only get very small amounts of supply and with all my graduate loans and other financial responsibilities to pay off I need to get at least 3 full days of teaching every week. [I choose not to work for an agency as the pay is poor and at my age I must contribute to the teachers’ pension scheme]. I feel very strongly about this new development in

education. I am ashamed to say that I voted Labour, the first time, but not the second, and it was purely because they said that they had big plans for educational reform... I come from a working class background and struggled to get into higher education because there were six children in my family. I did not go to university, although I could have done, because I felt guilty at depriving the family of funds that were badly needed. I finally made it, and now wonder why.... I feel like writing a letter to the HERALD asking parents to comment on what they think about their children being educated on the cheap! Most schools get around it by saying that the session has been planned by a teacher and is only being delivered by the TA or LSA. What about all the other aspects of teaching and learning that go on in the classroom during the session? Observations and evaluations, monitoring progress, marking new milestones that the child has reached, noting any serious problems, and so on. These are all part of the dynamics of classroom teaching. TAs and LSAs whilst they are very good do not have the depth of training and knowledge to undertake this role. So, do you have any advice for me? Why are schools using unqualified staff to replace teachers? Perhaps it will lift my spirits to talk to other supply teachers…”

How do other teachers feel about the comments in this letter? Although schools may say that lessons have been set by a teacher and only “delivered” by someone else, teachers know that they are unable to set or mark work for their own PPA time—so who really is setting the work? The writer may be contacted via plymnut@teacher.clara.co.uk

Do you know where unqualified staff The average graduate’s first annual are replacing teachers? Get in touch salary is £26 500. The starting pay for a teacher is just £19 641– a gap of about £7k (anonymously if you wish)

Parents expect their children to be taught while they are at school by qualified teachers. We know that the government has advised HTs and governors that schools can allow TAs or any person to take whole classes. Parents are often not fully informed of the implications for their children when non-teachers take charge of the class. The NUT believes that TAs and other support staff should be paid properly for the professional work they do. That should be the priority rather than using them to replace teachers. So, If your school only uses qualified teachers to teach whole classes let us know so we can bestow the kite mark on your school. Contact our President Martin Edmonds at: edmonds _ m@tamarside.co.uk
Steve Sinnott challenged the DfES to just give £30m to a “failing” school rather than convert it into an Academy with all the nonsense that entails. It would be interesting to compare the outcomes of this school and the usual A member asks, “I’ve been ‘told’ to set work, write lesson plans etc for my TA to results from the Academies experiment! ‘deliver’ during my PPA time. What should I say?” Any Questions? Contact Answer: If your HT had read and understood the workload reforms that came into force a while ago they would realise that they couldn’t direct you to do this. Indeed, it is plymnut@teacher.clara.co.uk

could volunteer please contact the Secretary for AGM MATTERS more information and a nomination form—to The AGM on March 29th @ 5pm at the be returned by 28th February. CHINA HOUSE Sutton Quay will confirm the Come along and meet our new President Committee for 2007/8. We are particularly Jeff Gale and enjoy the buffet at 6pm. seeking black teacher and union learning representatives. There are also some general ALL NUT MEMBERS WELCOME committee posts available, so if you feel you

Are you the new NUT Rep or mail distributor in your school? Tell John on 01752 707606 so he can update your address label today! s.m.leonard@btinternet.com

assumed that another teacher will be taking the class and the preparation you describe would fall to them. Your PPA time is protected from this type of work so your polite refusal should be enough. If this remains an issue in your school for you or other NUT members, just contact the Plymouth Secretary

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