Thursday 28 July 2016

Broaden and Deepen our Funding Campaign in Autumn

The National Executive last week discussed the need to both broaden and deepen our campaign over funding in the Autumn term, following our successful strike action earlier this month. There was agreement that we need to step up the campaign in the Autumn, reaching out to parent organisations, deepening the engagement of our members and increasing pressure on government, including through further strike action if Justine Greening is unwilling to act, as her predecessor was.

One amendment to the proposal was passed, calling on the Executive to link our Primary Assessment Campaign with the campaign on funding and terms and conditions. Two amendments, both of which sought to specify in one way or another what strike action would be decided on at the September Executive, fell.

Saturday 23 July 2016

A New Union for Education Professionals

Possibly our most significant decision at this week's National Executive was taken in the last few minutes of the meeting, although it followed a three hour discussion the day before, more than twenty individual days of negotiation and nineteen months of work.

Picture by Ken Sprague

The NUT Executive approved the draft instrument of amalgamation and transitional rules, and has called a special conference for 5th November to discuss forming a new union with the ATL. This is the first of three key decisions which would lead to the creation a new education union, encompassing the current membership of the NUT and the ATL.

Friday 22 July 2016

Striking for School Funding

The 5th July strike over school funding was a huge success nationally, and in Oxfordshire where I attended events on the day. Below, I give a brief report of our activities on the day and the response but first I want to share the short video made by Leigh Seedhouse, one of our talented local committee members, using photos taken by Chris Honeywell:

We knew on the day that we had several objectives. On the one hand, we wanted to ensure there was a clear political focus on the question of school funding, both in terms of our trade dispute over the impact on terms and conditions, and in terms of the wider impact on education.

New Leadership and Unity on the Horizon

A lot has happened over the past month - indeed so much that I don't seem to have had time to report on any of it! So I figured I would sit down now and catch up (although I'll leave out the KS2 production, pupil handover meetings and preparation for my Y5 class next year!):

  • Firstly, Kevin Courtney was elected General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers. I was proud to support Kevin's campaign and to be a signatory to the letter of endorsement from current and past Executive members and National Officers. Kevin is not only a fantastic campaigner and leader but has a strategic vision for the union, and a vision for education which will be invaluable in guiding us over the next few years.