Thursday 28 April 2016

Reaching Out to Members

Week #1 Meeting #2

Today, I was in Thatcham to meet with West Berkshire activists about the ballot campaign. The meeting was divided into two parts. There was a training on academy conversion in the afternoon with Regional Officer Nick Childs, during which we also discussed how to reach out to schools across the authority, and I led a briefing after school on the white paper, in which we discussed how to engage members at school level.

Green Fridays: Show Your Support for NUT Action on Pay and Conditions

As part of our broad campaign against the white paper, and in support of our ballot for strike action over school funding and national pay and conditions, NUT activists on social media have proposed a 'Green Fridays' initiative. The idea is that NUT members and supporters are encouraged to post photos of themselves and their colleagues wearing green on Fridays, using the hashtag #greenfridays, as a visual expression of support for these campaigns.

We got started early with the Eastern Region Young Teachers last weekend:

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Engaging the Community: The Campaign Kicks Off!

Week #1 Meeting #1

Today, it felt like our white paper campaign had kicked off in earnest locally with the first of 10 meetings for Reps & activists  in District 18 (or so I thought). The first meeting was in Windsor & Maidenhead, where a new committee has recently been elected after several years of no activity in the area. Much of the discussion focused on how to engage the wider community in opposition to the white paper.

Thursday 21 April 2016

National Executive: White Paper Campaign and National Action Campaign

Kevin Courtney opened this afternoon's National Executive meeting by describing the White Paper as an existential threat to state education and an existential threat to our terms and conditions. He set out the NUT's aims in our campaign, not just to defeat the white paper but also to slow down and stop voluntary conversion of academies. While the white paper is still in play, voluntary conversion is essentially doing the Tory's work for them. Additionally, there can be no genuine voluntary conversion when the policy context is pressuring schools down this route.

National Executive: General Secretary's Report

We are now only into the third week since conference and the union has been working at full pace to deliver material for the ballot and the wider campaign against the white paper. Christine thanked the union staff for all their work.

Saturday 2 April 2016

Professional Unity - Seize the Moment

A key theme around the NUT Conference this year was professional unity and this is likely to be true of ATL Conference as well. Already, the press are picking up on moves towards unity between the two unions (see for example here and here).

As Chair of the Professional Unity Committee of the NUT, I wrote a number of articles on the subject for different publications which were distributed at NUT Conference this year. The text of these articles can be found on a separate blog here and sum up my thoughts on the subject.

Friday 1 April 2016

Teaching by Numbers vs Professionalism in Education

There was a lot of discussion at this year's NUT Conference about the impact that the increasing obsession with data has on education - the pressure towards teaching by numbers - and of teacher professionalism as the alternative to this.

Most teachers would describe themselves as education professionals but what does this actually mean?