“The issues of education, language, local services provision and racism must be seriously tackled.” Kirsty Devaney, EIS Vice President
The EIS has again played an active role at the annual Trades Union Congress, this year held in Brighton. EIS delegates, including President Peter Quigley and Vice President Kirsty Devaney, spoke on a number of key educational, equality and employment issues.
IS President Peter Quigley introduced a key educational motion on the desirability of smaller class sizes in all schools, which won overwhelming support from the conference.
Highlighting the educational benefits of smaller classes, Mr Quigley said, “According to research evidence, the benefits of smaller class sizes include more pupil contact with teachers, more individual attention for each pupil, more focused teaching, a drop in pupil absences, improvements in attainment, reductions in antisocial behaviour, a reduction in excessive teachers workload and better discipline in our schools.”
Mr Quigley added “The questions to the Prime Minister at this conference indicate the commitment of trade union members to education and continuing concerns about education.”
“Better discipline will result from smaller class sizes.”
Peter Quigley, EIS President speaking to TUC Conference delegates.
“Most modern educational developments in Britain, whether it be the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland or the National Curriculum in England and Wales point to smaller classes, work with groups of pupils, the targeting of individual pupils, as the most effective means of delivering learning in schools.”
Highlighting a key positive in class size reductions, Mr Quigley added, “Better discipline will result from smaller class sizes. Better discipline makes children less likely to be drawn into challenge mode with authority. This is better for the pupil concerned and better for every other pupil in that class.”
Mr Quigley concluded by saying, “All our children deserve the chance to meet their full potential. Give our children the best start in education. Give them smaller class sizes.”
SEJ wins praise at TUC PR awards It was a good night for the SEJ at the annual TUC / Bank of Scotland Press and PR awards, held recently in London.
While the SEJ did not walk away with the coveted “Best Publication” award, the judging panel did place the Journal in the ‘Commended’ category and highlighted its “Nice, easy to follow format”, with one judge scoring the new-look SEJ particularly highly for its appearance and content.
In the “constructive criticism” department, some judges felt that the SEJ should also focus on a wider range of subjects rather than concentrate solely on educational issues. 4 Scottish Educational Journal October 06
Photography: Andrew Wiard, Report Photos
EIS highlights class sizes at TUC conference TUC Report
The delegates at the TUC agreed for the need to cut class sizes and overwhelmingly backed the motion.
Protecting migrant workers
EIS Vice President Kirsty Devaney introduced a motion which aimed to stop the exploitation of migrant workers.
Ms Devaney told the conference, “Trade Unions should recruit migrant workers, publicise the benefits of migrant workers nationally and locally, challenge myths about migrant workers and make public any exploitation. The issues of education, language, local services provision and racism must be seriously tackled.”
“The recent joint statement from the Home Office, the CBI and the TUC is to be welcomed as a way to manage migration to ensure that migrant workers can make their contribution and maximise their own potential at work and in the community. They are quite simply our comrades - and as trade unionists we should treat them as such”, said Ms Devaney.
Conference agreed that more must be done to protect migrant workers and voted heavily in favour of the motion.
SEJ October 2006