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The 126th Edition for all Plymouth Teachers January 2017

The NUT and ATL held special conferences in November at which delegates welcomed the progress made in negotiations to form a new union. The conferences endorsed the rules of the new union, to be called the National Education Union. This decision will now be put to the members of both unions for approval in ballots to be held during the spring term—probably in February.

Happy New Year!

We have advocated professional unity for many years, and this is a big step towards realising our goal of a strong unified profession and a powerful union which would be a significant force for teachers, education and the trade union movement. The new union would have almost half a million members. We have an open invitation to all other teachers' unions to come and talk about setting up the new union for a more effective and efficient means of representing the profession. This is a great opportunity to create a union ready to meet the current challenges. Our two unions are financially secure with growing memberships – the NUT is the largest teachers’ union in the UK and the ATL has strong numbers of teachers, lecturers, support staff and other education professionals. Together we represent the majority of all teachers and provide a formidable voice for education professionals. What will it cost to join? At the point when we start operating as a new union, no ATL or NUT member will pay a higher subs rate than they were paying before that date. If members vote positively to form the new union, it will be created on 1st September 2017. Our two organisations will continue to run on as now, but with ever closer relationships until we completely join together in the early 2020s.

NUT members keen to find out more and to ask questions about the new union are invited to attend the General Meeting on Thursday 12th January at The Future Inn at 5pm—see page 4 for details.

The NUT—the largest teachers’ organisation in Europe independent of government and not affiliated to any political party

Primary Assessment Justine Greening has announced a number of changes to the arrangements for SATs in 2017. The NUT view, and the view of members, is that these do not go anywhere near far enough to meet our concerns. The government is organising some roadshows this term as part of a consultation on assessment and we will be organising some activities around these. The NUT is calling for the 2017 tests to be cancelled and for a full review of primary assessment and accountability. We are working with an impressive range of organisations on a campaign called More Than A Score which is getting a lot of publicity and which held a very successful conference in December.

Please visit which has some good campaigning videos and resources. Show them to colleagues in your school!

Funding Schools are already struggling to settle their budgets as a result of the 8% increased costs imposed by the government. Across the country we are seeing class sizes going up, support staff being cut, some courses and extra tuition being stopped and more. Although there was little mention of education in the autumn budget, the government will soon publish proposals on funding, which are likely to see all schools facing even more cuts. Please visit to see the NUT projections on how cuts are affecting individual schools and to e-mail your MP.

Retired Teachers All Plymouth retired teachers are invited to come along and enjoy the next retired teachers event. Please get in touch with me for more information. Partners welcome! If you’re experiencing transport problems then please tell me and we will endeavour to arrange free travel. See you there! Stephanie Steer (Retired Teacher Rep) 01822 612405 We held a very successful Xmas lunch in December—see a picture on our website! Future Dates for you Diary - Thursday 2nd Feb 2017—Plymouth Gin Distillery—1130 tour with lunch at Tanners afterwards. The tour costs £7 and lasts 40 mins. Max 20 per tour so book early! Confirmations needed by 25th January. Tuesday 4th or 11th April TR2 Backstage tour (2pm) at Cattedown PL4 OSJ with cream tea afterwards. The tour is £7. Tour and cream tea £10 Monday 3rd July Devonport Naval Heritage Centre Tour 1000 to 1200 (PL1 4HG). Lunch location will be decided later. Free parking on site. For security reasons confirmation required 10 days before. Directions and bus details nearer the time. Let me know if you have any further ideas! Contact details for Steph above.

Elected a new rep? Send an email to Rob ( so we can keep our records up-to-date

Then and now…

Millbay Park displays tank no: ‘454’ 100 years ago—replaced today by a rubbish bin...

Government priorities must change in 2017 As 2017 begins, the NUT continues to press the case that the government has the wrong priorities for education. The NUT priority campaigns on funding, workload and primary assessment highlight the areas that the government needs to address urgently in 2017. These are the concerns of both parents and teachers and are, in turn, leading to cuts in provision, problems in teacher recruitment and increased stress on children. If we can work together on these and build support we can make the government change its priorities.

Tackling workload Following the government's Workload Challenge survey in 2014, three independent groups were established to report on, and suggest solutions to, unnecessary burdens associated with Marking, Planning and Data Management. We are encouraging school groups to discuss the reports to see how they can be used to make some changes to policies in schools – you can download NUT summaries at Posters covering the main recommendations, endorsed by the DfE, Ofsted and all associations representing teachers, are being sent to all schools. Make sure they are displayed for all to see—not just for NUT members! We included copies of the posters in September’s NUTshells (and see above right)

Moving on? Are you moving house or changing schools? Please go to,uk and click on “Members and Reps” to amend your NUT membership details

A member writes…

“I’m drowning in work stuff at the moment—a new term only brings dread. I have to blame myself for always accepting ever-greater demands on my time. There’s an expectation (non-negotiable!) that teachers have to run clubs, do lunchtime Plymouth Division: duties, write detailed lesson plans and hand them in for scrutiny (even 01503 240914 though we know no one reads them!), Regional Office: put up displays, create work books,uk with photos, do double marking with 01392 258028 different colours and suffer surprise observations…”

ADVICE LINE Your first point of contact open from 0900 to 1900 weekdays 0203 0066 266

A terrible story—as readers will know, none of the things in his list should be suffered as they’re not required and are outside what STP&CD says. Clear advice has been given by OfSTED and the government. If this is your school—get in touch

Plymouth NUT General Meeting Thursday January 12th 2017 Future Inn Tavistock Road Plymouth PL6 5ZD Meeting starts at 5pm for about an hour Join us in the restaurant for a meal at 6-30pm Agenda includes discussion on the new union, prioritising Conference Motions and the usual Q&A from the floor Free Parking

Please don’t forget a tin or two for the Stonehouse Food Bank!

A brief synopses of recent education news

 One of the youngest

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survivors of the RMS Titanic sinking became a teacher and taught at Plymstock school It’s estimated that today’s school leavers will have at least 17 different jobs before they retire If there’s a school direct or teach first teacher in your school—ask them to join the NUT—it’s free! ‘Under the radar’ young carers are denied support or recognition by government The move to increase university tuition fees in England to £9 250 pa has been launched - without any announcement from the DfE Direct lobbying of parents to contribute to the funding cuts in schools is becoming more common, but not helpful in poorer areas of the country Will robots be used to mark homework by 2020? Only 6 of 152 local authorities in England would fill the criteria for new grammar schools. They are Solihull, Essex, North Yorkshire, Dorset, Northamptonshire and North Somerset Have you checked the updated school cuts for your school? One Plymouth school is looking at a cut of over £800 per pupil… 1 351 holiday fines made last year in Plymouth

 See our website for more

(streaming) education news

Nutshells #126 jan 17  

The Jan 2017 edition of the Plymouth NUT Newsletter

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