Thursday 20 July 2017

Ofsted, Secondary Assessment and Children's Mental Health

This morning's Education and Equalities Committee began with a discussion of children's mental health. In response to the DfE proposals on mental health 'first aid' training in schools, the NUT has used 'In Conversation' to discuss this with secondary school teachers. 88% of teachers surveyed thought that the number of students with complex mental health problems was increasing , whilst 67% didn't feel the pastoral support for students was sufficient.

A number of teachers reported positive approaches in their school towards addressing children's mental health and the committee agreed to seek to publicise some of these, whilst not ignoring the causes of increasing mental health problems amongst children and the inadequacy of funding for specialist services to address this.

Saturday 15 July 2017

Campaigning for Professional Unity

I am pleased to have been re-elected as an Officer of Unify - the campaign for one education union - at their AGM in the ATL offices in London today.

Unify was founded in 1997 as Professional Unity 2000, in the hope that professional unity would be achieved within three years. It has taken a little longer than that but now, twenty years later, we are making real strides towards bringing together education professionals. Throughout that time, Unify has been at the forefront of campaigning for professional unity and that campaign continues today.

For more information about Unify and to join or affiliate your union branch, you can contact me on

Thursday 13 July 2017

Joint Executive Council

This afternoon’s Joint Executive Council (JEC) meeting of the National Education Union was short and uneventful, in the sense that none of the papers before the council proved controversial. In many ways, its was a continuation of the Joint Officer Group process that has led the creation of the National Education Union over the past two and a half years.

The major difference is that the paperwork we were looking at today (which won’t be formally agreed until September 1st, when the JEC officially comes into existence) relates directly to the operation of the JEC up to 1st January 2019. In many ways, today represented a milestone in the creation of the National Education Union. So, what does that mean for NUT (and indeed ATL) members?

Thursday 6 July 2017

The National Education Union is Here!

The room was charged with excitement, the tension in the air palpable, threatening to burst every time an announcement was made and greeted with applause. On Saturday, I attended a joint briefing on the National Education Union for NUT and ATL local Secretaries. At least that's what the event was billed as.

However, not long into the meeting, with an warm welcome delivered by the Joint General Secretaries Designate, and the announcement of the Deputy and Assistant General Secretaries Designate, of the new union, it was clear why there was such a level of excitement in the room - we were effectively at the first meeting of the National Education Union.