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n of Teachers io n U l a n o ti a N e from th17e Your magaz.uin 20 k July/August .org

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Classrooms touched by tragedy

Grenfell, Manchester and how to answer difficult questions


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Contents Title bar

e m o c l e W ... In this issue

LIFE is full of surprises. Many did not predict the outcome of June’s General Election. Most commentators said there would be a Conservative landslide. But although the Government returned to office, its majority was greatly reduced. On the doorsteps and school gates, you made education one of the major issues of this campaign. Those elected are now very sensitive about school funding – you made them understand that cuts were unpopular and unacceptable. Our campaign drew attention to differences in the parties’ manifestos – and there was a gulf between them on school funding. Voters emailed candidates, asking them to oppose cuts – the answer, if they received one, was often the deciding factor at the ballot box. On behalf of the Union, I want to say thank you – for all your enthusiasm and hard work standing up for our schools. But I would like to ask you to carry on campaigning. When your opponent starts to give in, it’s really important to ramp up your efforts. I’d like you to visit your new MP, ask their views on school funding and tell them they’ll lose votes in any coming election if they don’t oppose these cuts. We need to show the strength of feeling on this issue. The election may have gone away but our campaign won’t. The Union is planning further action in the autumn term. Watch out for details in September’s Teacher. This term has also been tinged with tragedy, with terror attacks in Manchester and London Bridge and the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower. In this issue, we discuss how teachers can help deal with tragedy and how to answer difficult questions in the classroom. The Grenfell fire has hit west London communities hard. The Union had members living in the tower – mercifully, they escaped but are now left dealing with terrible personal loss and no home to call their own. Our local associations have been in contact to see how best we can support them and their families through the months ahead. We also discuss the housing crisis and how this is worsened by the public sector pay cap. Many teachers, especially the young, find it hard to find a home of their own – the average pay of teachers under 30 has not risen in six years, yet house prices have gone up by 27 per cent, 64 per cent in London. When we come back in September, the Teacher will have a brand-new look, with extra features for you to enjoy. Have a really good rest over the summer, enjoy quality time with friends and family and recharge your batteries. When school returns, we have a funding battle to win – our schools and our children are depending on it. Kevin Courtney, General Secretary

Except where the NUT has formally negotiated agreements with companies as part of its services, inclusion of an advertisement in The Teacher does not imply recommendation. While every effort is made to ensure the reliability

4-7

Tragedy and difficult questions

8-11

Campaign news

13

National Education Union

Your news on workload and testing

14-15 Out & about 16-17 Part-time & supply teaching 19

Success stories

20-21 Crying in cupboards The problem of teachers bullied at school 23

Michael Rosen

25-27 Housing crisis 29

Refugee week

31

Sex & relationship education

32-35 History of the Union 36-37 Your Union 38-39 Ask the Union 40-41 Letters 45

International news

47

Noticeboard

49

Book reviews

50

Backbeat: terrorism and diversity

President: Louise Regan General Secretary: Kevin Courtney Editor: Helen Watson Journalists: Emily Jenkins, Laraine Clay Administration: Maryam Hulme Design & subbing: Amanda Ellis Cover: Children at Fulham Cross Girls’ School wear Green for Grenfell. Photo: Jess Hurd. Newsdesk t 020 7380 4708 e teacher@nut.org.uk To advertise contact Century One Publishing, t 01727 739193 e jonathan@centuryone publishing.ltd.uk

NUT membership enquiries t 0845 300 1666 NUT, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD teachers.org.uk Keep up to date with education and the NUT – follow us on Twitter twitter.com/NUTonline for the latest news and views. Also stay informed at teachers.org.uk You can also find the NUT on Facebook. Keep up with the latest campaigning and Union news via the official NUT Facebook page at facebook.com/nut.campaigns

of advertisers, the NUT cannot accept any liability for the quality of goods or services offered. The Teacher is printed by TU Ink, London. Inside pages are printed on paper made from 100% recycled, post-consumer waste.

July / August 17 | The Teacher

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The need for a safe space

In the light of recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, and the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Teacher asked some well-placed commentators for their suggestions on ways of tackling difficult issues in the classroom.

Pupils from Fulham Cross Girls’ School Go Green for Grenfell (see page 6)

THE actions of terrorists who carried out the recent attacks in Manchester and London are hard enough for anyone to understand. And the lives lost in Grenfell Tower have aroused sadness and anger. But, for children, there are so many difficult questions left unanswered. How do teachers approach discussion with pupils about their fears and anxieties and, for some, the racist views that are expressed within communities? Offering condolences to all those affected after the Manchester arena attack, NUT General Secretary Kevin Courtney wrote to members, offering guidance in the classroom.

Great Get Together The NUT also supported the Great Get Together weekend, which was held across Britain on June 16-18 in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox. The Union shares her belief that “we have more in common than that which divides us” and will continue to campaign to make education part of any solution to tragedy and conflict. 4

July / August 17 | The Teacher

‘Be a good role model’ Graham Robb is a former secondary head and former member

of the Youth Justice Board. He wrote the first DfE guidance for schools on the prevention of violent extremism in 2009 and works in education and youth justice issues. He writes in a personal capacity. “The emotions after incidents of terrorist violence can include anger, fear, anxiety, helplessness and grief and, for some, could include clinical trauma. n Pupils will look to adults for comfort and answers, and need to hear that staff’s priority is pupil safety. n If staff don’t talk about an event, pupils might conclude it is too horrible even to talk about. n Encourage questions and counter misinformation, underlying fears or concerns. n Be clear who can support the child if they need more help. n Be a good role model – express sadness and empathy for the victims. Share ideas for coping with tragic events. Stress how quickly emergency services respond. n Pupils will need extra patience, care and love (and so will you and their parents).”

Useful links Kevin Courtney’s statement in full: teachers.org.uk/manchesterarena Structuring discussions: pshe-association.org.uk/curriculum-and-resources/ resources/discussing-terrorist-attack-children-primary National Child Traumatic Stress Network: NCTSN.org Advice for children: bbc.co.uk/newsround/13865002 Winston’s Wish, charity for bereaved children: winstonswish.org.uk/respondingchildren-affected-media-coverage-incident-westminster/


Joyce Miller is associate fellow in the Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick, and member of the Commission on Religious Education.

Floral tributes to the victims of the Manchester Arena terrorist bomb Photo: Paul Herrmann reportdigital.co.uk

‘Vulnerable teens’ Niparun Nessa is

a teacher who won the Steve Sinnott International Solidarity Award at NUT conference. “These extremists do not follow Islam and do not share the values and principles of my religion. Vulnerable teenagers, struggling with their identities, are being groomed by these extremist networks. They use messages of hate to radicalise people. When you post messages of hate and share racist and fascist posts, you are helping them! I will not apologise for what’s happened because I’m Muslim, but I will stand up for my beliefs and a religion that billions of us believe in but is being portrayed as something so horrible. My thoughts are with all those affected by terrorism every day.”

‘Stick to the facts’ Jake Jones is

head of assemblies and a KS2 PSHE teacher in Newham. “Be honest and stick to facts – sugar-coating and embellishing will only have negative longterm effects. As educators, we need to maintain calm and control. Not every child will want to discuss it but some will need to ask questions. We must respect both of these viewpoints and create safe spaces with clear ground rules for discussion, as well as quiet spaces for children who are not ready to think about the tragedies. Shut down Islamophobia immediately and sanction accordingly, as well as educate. ‘Look for the helpers’ and give children an opportunity to help – for example, thank you letters for the emergency services or get well cards.”

‘More, not less, discussion’ Karma Nabulsi is professor of politics at the University of Oxford and won the Guardian Higher Education Network’s 2017 Inspiring Leader award. “A year of the Prevent duty has shown an excessive over-reach in reporting students for having ‘extreme’, or possibly ‘dangerous’ views. Statistics reveal that over 80 per cent of referrals were unwarranted, with a substantial proportion coming from schools. This has generated real anxiety and students fear that, if expressing views that sound ‘suspicious’, they will be reported. Rather than less freedom and more restrictions, we found more discussion, more openness and more debate – that is, more democracy – is essential. Students and staff with relatives in areas of the world enduring conflict, war crimes and other injustices must be encouraged to speak up openly, without fear of sounding extreme to those having no experience or understanding of it. Teachers must clearly say that such topics are both important and safe to discuss openly, before students will be confident enough to do so.”

“Recognise the complexity of violent extremism and its causes, using a combination of religious, political and media literacy which teachers can help each other develop. Reflect on your own professional and moral principles: anti-racism, justice and human rights, for example – they provide the moral compass by which to judge what has happened and to articulate a vision for a better future in which commonality is more important than difference. And then, do something. We want to encourage active citizenship in students.”

Campaign news: difficult questions

‘A moral compass’

‘Kindness gave our children hope’ Name withheld, works in a Manchester primary school. “The terrible events at Manchester Arena shocked our community. The day after, children needed to discuss the events and pray for the victims and their families. You hope you will never have to answer difficult questions but the best way through it is to confront it. The children had their own answers to make sense of events. What really helped heal their pain were the amazing acts of kindness they witnessed – from taxi drivers, passers-by, homeless people and families who opened their doors to strangers. Over the next few days, boys and girls were keen to share these immense acts of kindness they had seen. “Miss, you know the homeless man who helped others? Well, a charity has been set up for him,” one child told me. “There are loads of balloons and flowers. Crowds are coming to help,” another said. Thank you to all those who reached out to the distressed, the dying and the injured. The charities set up and the kind words shared gave our children hope. They learned that, even in the darkest situations, there will be moments of courage and people with warm, loving hearts ready to make a difference – everyday heroes and heroines they can aspire to be.”

July / August 17 | The Teacher

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Title bar

nfell Go Green for Gre

SCORES of schools throughout the capital took part in a Go Green for Grenfell day on 23 June. The event was the brainchild of teachers from Fulham College Academy Trust in west London. Children and parents were encouraged to wear green, or organise green-themed events, to raise money for survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire in Kensington, which claimed the lives of more than 79 people, many of them children. News of the initiative soon spread through the borough and its neighbours, with teachers and parents sharing it on Twitter and getting publicity from the NUT through social media. Their efforts also made the Times Educational Supplement. Pupils at Fulham Cross Girls’

School (pictured with Head Denise Fox) organised face painting, bake sales and made green ribbons as momentoes. Pupils released green balloons and teachers shaped their lessons around events, giving children the space to discuss how they felt. The initiative was taken up in other parts of the capital. Pupils and parents at Marner Primary School in Bow, east London, raised an amazing £1,250. Children wore green for the day and teachers collected donations at the school gate before and after school. Dave Anderson, head of maths at Fulham College Boys’ School, said: “Several of our students have been directly impacted by this tragedy. We have pupils who have lost family and friends or who know people affected

by the fire. They are struggling to make sense of what has happened and this was a really good way of coming together, in solidarity with our neighbours. “Students saw this as a completely avoidable tragedy and there is a level of anger about it. They came up with this idea as a way of expressing concern and community. What could they do to help? Could they do something positive? “As the weeks go on, more news will unfold about what happened in Grenfell and we have to make sure students can express what they are feeling. I’d like to say thank you to everyone that helped to make it such a success.” To donate to the disaster fund, visit thekandcfoundation.com/donate/

ools Fire safety in sch THE Union has written to Education Secretary Justine Greening, asking for clarification on fire safety standards in schools. This follows a move by the Government to water down Building Bulletin 100, a nationally recognised design guide for fire safety in schools. In its letter, the NUT, Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and Association of Teachers & Lecturers seek reassurances that safety standards, such as making sure new schools have sprinklers, will not be weakened. Building Bulletin 100 says that all new schools should have

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July / August 17 | The Teacher

sprinklers fitted, except a few at low risk. But since 2010, only 35 per cent of new schools have been fitted with sprinklers. The bulletin discourages the use of flammable cladding on school buildings, but the unions have little confidence that provisions have been adhered to. The letter calls upon the Government to: n Confirm that it has abandoned attempts to weaken fire safety advice and will not be proceeding with the revised Building Bulletin; n Bring forward legislation to require sprinklers to be fitted to

all new schools; n Review all schools built since 2010 without sprinklers and provide evidence for each decision; n Ensure all decisions about sprinkler installation are centrally monitored; n Instigate urgent checks on all required and recommended fire safety measures, including the suitability of cladding. FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack said: “Nothing can be more important than protecting children from harm. Fire safety standards and wider building and other safety measures in all schools must be improved with urgency.”


1

Be proactive, not reactive

Don’t wait for issues to be brought up. Without prompting, pupils may never mention they have been distressed or may bring it up with teachers who are not equipped to discuss it. Create opportunities in assemblies, form groups, citizenship and PSHE to talk about sensitive issues.

2

Start where the young people are

Talk to them and ask what they have heard. You may also provide anonymous opportunities to raise questions and concerns. Utilise online questionnaires, provide a box into which they can post questions or give each child a post-it note to write upon.

4

Create a space where discussions can take place openly

6

Empathise with how they feel

Young people will not open up if they worry they’re going to be judged, laughed at or told off. It is important to create a supportive environment where they don’t worry about getting things wrong. Develop ground rules: n Be open and honest; n Respect the feelings of others; n Challenge opinions and disagree respectfully; n Direct challenges to the front of the room, not at each other; n Depersonalise comments; n No-one has to speak if they don’t want to. Some issues may be better approached by discussing what pupils have heard others say – this can allow them to speak without fear of reprisal.

Empathising is not the same as agreeing. Even if a young person’s anger or fear is expressed through misinformation or stereotypes, let them know that you understand. They need the opportunity to explore their emotions and learn coping mechanisms for traumatic events.

9 Look for the good

7

Consider your own perspective

None of us live in a bubble. This can mean we are carrying stereotypes, prejudice and misinformation. Consider your own biases – the teacher does not have to stay completely neutral. Admitting you don’t know the answer to a question can help to demonstrate that no-one’s knowledge is absolute.

There is a quote by Fred Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say: ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, I remember my mother’s words, and am comforted by realising that there are so many caring people in this world.” While there are people who want to cause harm, there are far more who go out of their way to help. Celebrate what is good about your local community and encourage active citizenship. There is plenty they can do to create positive change, from raising money to raising awareness.

3

Adopt a participatory approach

This approach requires shared control between teacher and pupils. Circle time can provide a great medium for discussions. Help young people to listen and accept there can be more than one view, that other people’s view has value and there is not always a right answer.

5

Put fear into context

Campaign news: difficult questions

$

ions t s e u q t l u c diffi h t i w g n i l a De

Horrific incidents, rolling news and responses of friends and family, can create panic. It is important to try to give young people a sense of perspective – the reason things are in the news is because they are unusual. Now is the safest time ever to be alive; there is less hunger and violence in the world than in any time in history. In the last ten years there have been only 1.4 deaths per year in the UK due to terrorism.

8

Encourage critical thinking

We cannot always help pupils to navigate the world and recognise misinformation. Use reasoning and enquiry to get them to question their opinions, help them explore the difference between neutral and emotive language, fact and opinion.

and 10 Assess reflect

Afterwards, provide space and time for reflection. Adopt a whole school approach, make sure that those working in pastoral care are prepared to support students and signpost them to further advice.

THESE tips were developed by NUT training partner Equaliteach, which is working with the Union to deliver training days to support teachers to respond to young people’s questions and fears. The course is free to NUT members and will take place in Hamilton House, London, after the summer. To express your interest, email nutcpd@nut.org.uk

July / August 17 | The Teacher

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Title bar

News in brief

Support staff cuts put kids at risk CLERICAL staff are having to give first aid to injured children, administer medicines and carry out criminal record checks due to cuts to school support staff, a Unison study has found. The survey looked at support staffing problems in primary and secondary schools across England. It found that many support staff work eight hours a week in unpaid overtime and that one in 10 needed a second job to make ends meet as a result of the public sector pay cap.

Smarties tubes filled with cash A SCHOOL has asked parents to send children to school with Smarties tubes full of coins to bridge its funding shortfall. Emmanuel Primary in West Hampstead handed out tubes of the sweet at Easter and sent a letter home, which said: “A full tube can hold about £12, but you can return it with as many 20p coins as you like. Our funding is likely to face real terms cuts over the next four years.” The Union estimates that one in six schools are asking families for around £20 a month for basic teaching materials as education cuts continue to bite.

Mental health services suffering FINANCIAL pressures mean schools and colleges are struggling to provide mental health support for pupils, say MPs. A report from the Parliamentary Health and Education committees found that one in ten children aged between five and 16 have had a diagnosed mental disorder. The MPs call for changes to the curriculum and ongoing work with teachers and support staff to be part of a drive to promote pupil well-being.

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July / August 17 | The Teacher

23 teachers lost in ‘new dawn’ NUT members at Forest Hill School took further strike action in June in a dispute over compulsory redundancies and unacceptable workload. Staff suspended their action during the main exam period while they sought to negotiate with the school. But management failed to engage and the Union went ahead with planned action (pictured above), which included a lobby of the Department for Education. The school is facing a staffing crisis – 23 teachers resigned by the end of May which, on top of five redundancies and three temporary contracts not being renewed, means that nearly a third of teachers will have left. Fifteen teaching posts are also being cut in a restructure. Yet the Head has written to parents saying the restructuring, which also includes the loss of 23 support staff, ‘heralds a new dawn’ for the school. If you would like to send a message of support to the strikers, email Lewisham NUT c/o secretary@lewisham.nut.org.uk

Primary system not fit for purpose A SURVEY of Union primary members shows the vast majority believe the primary assessment system is broken. The review of 2,300 NUT members working in primary schools found a widespread lack of confidence in the Government’s system of assessment and accountability and a growing conviction that it needs fundamental change. The SATs effect: teachers’ verdict – Summer Term 2017 found that: n 94 per cent agreed with the findings of the House of Commons Education Committee that the ‘high-stakes system does not improve teaching and learning in primary schools’; n 96 per cent said preparation for SATs does not support children’s access to a broad and balanced curriculum; n 93 per cent thought that changes to SATs have significantly increased teacher workload at their school. In hundreds of written responses, members explained the effects of the primary assessment system. “It creates immense pressure on schools to attain results and this means too much time and effort on preparing for tests,” said one.

“As a consequence, the children give too much import to the tests themselves and are under pressure.” Another wrote: “Children are viewed as data. Children not capable of ‘making it’ are discounted so that resources can be focused on cusp children.”

Positive alternative Kevin Courtney, NUT General Secretary, said: “The Government will be left in no doubt from this survey that teachers believe the current assessment and accountability of England’s primary school children is not fit for purpose. “We have taken this message into the DfE’s consultation on primary assessment, and we are looking for a wholly new approach. “There is widespread interest among parents, teachers and educationalists about creating a new assessment system which supports pupils’ learning. “The NUT is working with a broad group in the More Than A Score coalition, to campaign for a positive alternative.” For more details, visit morethanascore. co.uk


Teachers express concerns about new GCSEs SECONDARY schools are beset with problems on workload and assessment, which are damaging teachers and students alike. That’s the evidence from InConversation, the NUT’s new app for two-way communication with secondary teachers. Union members say that the new GCSEs are adding to existing problems of workload. The new exam – which will be graded from 9-1 rather than A*-G, with 9 as the highest – has received a cool reception in secondary schools.

‘Shrouded in mystery’ Members say lead-in time for the new exams has been too short and what the grade boundaries mean in practice is shrouded in mystery. And teachers report that it is difficult to engage some groups of students with the demands of the new curriculum. There are concerns that data from the new exams will be used for performance

management purposes. Teachers will be held to account for students’ results, despite the obvious difficulties of comparing this year’s outcomes in maths and English with those of earlier cohorts.

Narrowing curriculum Teachers also confirm that creative and technical subjects are under real pressure. More than half of those responding said they’d noticed subjects that were facing cutbacks or even the prospect of disappearance. Design and technology, music, art and drama were especially under threat. Their views support a trend identified by pressure group Bacc for the Future, which says that the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is limiting access to creative or technical courses. If you have concerns about additional workload created by the new exams, visit teachers.org.uk/pay-pensionsconditions/workload

Pearson prote st

News in brief

Head takes a stand against SATS A LEEDS head was so upset by her pupils being in “floods of tears” during SATs exams, she decided not to run them at her school this year. Jill Wood, from Little London Primary, consulted with parents and governors before taking the decision not to participate in the exams. Instead, she measured children’s progress using alternative methods, including learning checks throughout the year. During SATs week, the children were taken on educational visits to Whitby and Ingleton waterfalls.

Campaign news

A storm gathering?

No bed of their own AROUND 40,000 children do not have a bed of their own, a charity has said. Buttle UK, which works with disadvantaged children, hands out beds to families that need them. It says children are being forced to share with siblings, parents, or sleep on the sofa or floor. One head teacher told the charity of pupils as old as nine sleeping in cots. In one family, children slept in an inflatable paddling pool. The charity has tripled the number of beds it distributes in ten years. Visit buttleuk.org

Teach in Africa

UNION members representing teachers from around the world protested outside the annual meeting of the largest global education business. Pearson held its AGM in London on 5 May, where Union members from the US, Kenya, South Africa, Denmark, New Zealand and Uganda, as well as the NUT, gave out leaflets calling on the company to end its push for privatised schools in Africa and Asia. They were joined by campaigners from Global Justice Now and Action Aid.

Pearson funds Bridge International Academies in Africa and Asia, where families can be charged more than half their income for school fees. Earlier this year, the High Court of Kenya ruled that one county education board should close ten Bridge schools for failing to meet education standards. Last year the Uganda High Court ordered Bridge to close down in the country as it said schools were providing unsanitary learning conditions. The company is appealing.

ADVENTUROUS teachers are invited to spend a couple of weeks of their summer holidays helping to teach colleagues in west Africa. The Street Child programme is seeking volunteers to mentor teachers in Sierra Leone and Liberia for two weeks in July or August. Visit street-child.co.uk or email intvol@street-child.co.uk

Magazine refresh THE Teacher will be relaunched in September, with a new design. Keep an eye out for features on life in the classroom, campaigning news and stories and photos from your area. If you have news and pictures for us, email teacher@nut.org.uk or h.watson@nut.org.uk

July / August 17 | The Teacher

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DATA protection campaigners, supported by the NUT, are calling on schools to ensure that parents know their rights when they answer ‘census’ questions about their children. An estimated 20 million pupil records have been collected from schools in England since 2000 – and since 2012, collected information has been made available to commercial organisations and journalists.

No parental obligation But the defenddigitalme campaign says parents are not obliged to provide the information, even though schools are obliged to request it. And they say this has become particularly important since the school census questions were extended to ask about a child’s nationality and country of birth. Jen Persson, director of the campaign, said: “The DfE has been passing pupils’ personal data collected in the

school census to the Home Office for immigration enforcement in secret for up to 1,500 pupils a month since July 2015.” This information does not currently include the details about nationality and country of birth, but Ms Persson says there is no guarantee that this will not be used by the Border Force in the future. The NUT has called for commercial use of pupil data to end and for a guarantee from the Government that personal information will not be passed to the Home Office. A motion passed at conference in April agreed to continue to challenge the Government on these matters and provide advice to schools about informing parents that provision of details for the census is voluntary. n Defenddigitalme is a founding supporter of Against Borders for Children. For more information on both campaigns go to defenddigitalme.com and schoolsabc.net

What next for ‘toxic’ Prevent? GREATER Manchester mayor Andy Burnham is reviewing the use of the Prevent programme in the city in the wake of the Manchester Arena attack. The Government’s Prevent strategy was designed to safeguard vulnerable individuals who are at risk of radicalisation and relies on intelligence from community leaders. However, Burnham says Prevent is now “toxic” and wants to replace it with an approach that commands the confidence of the region’s Muslim community. He plans to set up a new commission to tackle violent extremism and promote social cohesion. “It’s about resetting Prevent, or making it work better, and for me it will only work if you’ve got that buy-in at a community grassroots level. “That is lacking at the moment,” he said.

Campaign news

Call to end sale of pupil data

News in brief

The heat is on… Kevin Courtney with young teachers at this year’s NUT conference

The struggle for work/life balance A RECENT survey of more than 3,000 young teachers found almost half say that mental health concerns could force them to leave the profession. Many cited excessive workload, driven by increasingly irrelevant accountability measures, as the main cause. The survey, conducted by the NUT Young Teachers Working Party, found that 74 per cent were working 51 hours or more per week, with nearly a quarter doing more than 61 hours. As a consequence, 85 per cent said they were finding it very difficult to keep a reasonable work/life balance. The results of the Department for Education’s Teacher Workload Survey 2016 reflect these findings. The survey reveals that primary teachers with less than six years’ experience work a total of 18.8 hours per week outside school hours – two hours more than more experienced colleagues.

BOYS in Devon turned up at school dressed in skirts during June’s heatwave, in protest against the strict uniform codes preventing them from wearing shorts. As temperatures soared to above 30 degrees, pupils at the ISCA academy in Exeter argued it was too hot for long trousers and asked if they could wear shorts. When the head teacher refused, five boys turned up in skirts in protest. In the days following they were joined by a further 30, all wearing skirts borrowed from sisters and friends. Headteacher Aimee Mitchell said the school are considering revising the policy.

July / August 17 | The Teacher

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19/10/2016 10:10


THE National Education Union (NEU) will come into existence on 1 September and, with more than 450,000 members, will represent the majority of teachers and educational professionals in the UK. By acting together, those working in education can make a difference to the issues that are important to them. With more members in more workplaces, the NEU will bring teachers and their colleagues closer together to improve working lives. The Union will use the views of its members to shape policy, campaigns and Government initiatives and stand up

for education. Representing the entire education workforce, the NEU will have a powerful and persuasive voice when championing the rights of teachers and education professionals. Bringing together the best of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the NUT, the NEU will provide its members with a wide range of CPD, publications and other resources to develop their skills and guide their students. And there will be enhanced support and advice from a combined team of local reps, officers and legal experts should

members face a problem at work. The NEU will be the largest education union in the UK. Membership is open to trainees, newly qualified or experienced teachers, lecturers, support staff or leaders – those working in a local authority, academy or independent school, sixth form college or FE/HE. When the Teacher returns in September, we will report on the NUT section of the NEU and bring news from colleagues in the ATL section. To register your interest in the National Education Union, visit neu.org.uk

Professional Titleunity bar

Standing up for you

Joining the NEU n You can apply to join the National Education Union from 1 September 2017. n If you’re an ATL or NUT member already, you will be automatically transferred into NEU membership. n If you’re not currently an ATL or NUT member, you can join either or both unions now and be transferred in to the NEU on 1 September 2017. Go to atl.org. uk/join or teachers.org.uk/join

It’s a fact… MEMBERSHIP & SUBSCRIPTION n NUT members will be automatically transferred to the new union. n Your subscription will not be affected for 2017 and we will contact you as normal about your 2018 subscription. n Your Direct Debit description might change from NUT to NEU.

ADVICE & SUPPORT n From 1 September, contact your NUT workplace rep or NUT association, or NUT Wales office (029 2049 1818) for advice or support.

“Unity is strength. When education workers speak with one voice we are louder, we reach more people and it forces those in power to listen. Last year I was a student teacher and had my choice of a wide range of unions. I chose the NUT in part because we are committed to one union for all workers in education. From September, new teachers will find this choice even easier.” NQT James McAsh

n Members in England can also contact the NUT advice line: 020 3006 6266.

RECRUIT A NEW MEMBER! n Ask a non-member to join the NUT – new members will automatically become members of the new union. They can join online at teachers.org.uk/join or call 020 7380 6369. n Keep your membership details up to date by visiting teachers.org. uk/update n Email membership@nut.org.uk or call 020 7360 6366. July / August 17 | The Teacher

13


THERE was a prominent NUT contingent on a demonstration supporting abortion rights in Birmingham in May. Delegates to Women’s TUC conference voted to support a counter-demo by the Abortion Rights campaign group, to protest outside the March for Life Festival UK. With a growing number of threats to abortion rights, NUT delegates felt it was time to make sure the Union’s voice was heard in the struggle for a woman’s right to choose. The 1967 Abortion Act is almost 50 years old. It is important to mark this historic victory for the pro-choice movement but also time for an awarenessraising campaign to educate the public about the limitations of the Act. NUT members from several divisions attended the demonstration and President Louise Regan spoke on behalf of the Union. By Philipa Harvey, NUT executive

SCHOOLS increasingly use unqualified staff in place of qualified supply teachers to cover teacher absence. The NUT’s 2017 supply teacher survey, which received a record 1,300 responses, showed that 41 per cent of agency supply teachers say that getting work is becoming increasingly hard. Less than one third of agency teachers say they can get work almost every day, while 39 per cent can only get work about half the time. More than one in ten are being offered no work for weeks at a time. More and more secondary schools are now using unqualified staff to supervise classes, instead of employing professional supply teachers who are trained, qualified and experienced to teach the particular subject. Freedom of Information requests submitted to secondary schools in Sefton show that, in the week of 5 March 2017, 640 lessons in the borough’s 17 secondary schools were supervised by unqualified staff. Kevin Courtney, NUT General Secretary, said: “Agencies have been ripping off schools for years. They pay supply teachers appallingly badly, but their charges are driving schools to turn to unqualified staff.”

Shocking stats on child hunger THE UK is the fifth richest nation on earth, but four million children live in poverty. This equates to nine pupils in every classroom of 30 being poor – and two thirds of these have at least one working parent. A recent United Nations assessment of child health and wellbeing found that the UK has some of the highest levels of hunger and deprivation among the richest nations.

A third in poverty Almost one in five UK children under the age of 15 suffer from food insecurity and one in three experience ‘multidimensional poverty’ involving access to housing, clothing, nutrition and social and leisure activities.

While some poor children are eligible for free school meals during term times, there is a growing problem of school holiday hunger. In March, over half of respondents to a survey of NUT primary members said that pupils at their school were affected. Almost two-fifths (39 per cent) said it was affecting more than a quarter of pupils in their school, with 12 per

Calling all members and NUT reps! Do you have news, views and pictures for the Teacher? We’d love to hear about your campaigns, successes and opinions for publication in the magazine. And we’d welcome your pictures too. If your association has Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, why not send us your posts and photos and let the rest of the Union know what you are up to. Email teacher@nut.org.uk July / August 17 | The Teacher

‘Fantastic – loved it!’ MORE than 120 teachers gathered in Nottingham for this year’s NUT LGBT+ conference. The majority were young teachers, with more than ever attending for the first time. With the theme Moving Forward and Looking Back, delegates had the opportunity to attend a range of workshops, discuss current issues for LGBT+ members and debate a motion to go to NUT annual conference 2018. Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (pictured right), founder of UK Black Pride and a Stonewall trustee, gave a keynote speech telling delegates about the importance of intersectionality and Union membership. One delegate said: “Fantastic – loved it. Very informative, very useful and has inspired me to get back to activism and to

“It’s heartbreaking to hear children not wanting Holiday hunger holidays because they than three quarters (78 per cent) don’t get enough to eat.” More of respondents in schools with pupils

experiencing holiday hunger said that children were turning up to school hungry. And more than a third (37 per cent) said that pupils showed signs of malnourishment. Almost three quarters (73 per cent) said that holiday hunger negatively impacted on their pupils’ education; more than two-thirds (69 per cent) said it negatively affected their social wellbeing. More than half (57 per cent) said it had an impact on their physical health.

“An increasing number of children arrive at school hungry. The only full meal they get is a free school dinner. Grants should fund those families during the holiday period and at school.”

rg.uk

cher@nut.o

tea r newsdesk u o il a m E ? Got a story

cent saying half or more of their pupils experienced holiday hunger.

Keep us in the picture

14

t u o b a d n Out a

Out and about

Less work for agency staff

use what I’ve learnt to bring equality issues back to my school.” Find out about other NUT conferences you might wish to attend at teachers.org. uk/news-events/events

Charter for trainee teachers – what you should expect NUT Charter for School Direct Your rights and

expectations

TRAINING to teach can be a fantastic experience and the first step into the best career in the world. In 2016/17, School Direct trainees made up approximately half the trainee

teachers working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England. The experiences of trainees can vary, from the excellent to the not so good. And if the Government, schools, and training providers don’t get it right, they run the risk of losing passionate teachers before they have even qualified. The NUT has produced a charter for School Direct trainees, offering advice on what you can expect before and during

your course and how the NUT can assist you as you start your career. School reps and local officers can use the charter to engage with School Direct trainees and ensure they are getting the minimum level of support needed to progress as a teacher. Charters have been sent to your local association/division alongside this year’s NQT materials. To request additional copies, email recruit@nut.org.uk

July / August 17 | The Teacher

15


THERE was a prominent NUT contingent on a demonstration supporting abortion rights in Birmingham in May. Delegates to Women’s TUC conference voted to support a counter-demo by the Abortion Rights campaign group, to protest outside the March for Life Festival UK. With a growing number of threats to abortion rights, NUT delegates felt it was time to make sure the Union’s voice was heard in the struggle for a woman’s right to choose. The 1967 Abortion Act is almost 50 years old. It is important to mark this historic victory for the pro-choice movement but also time for an awarenessraising campaign to educate the public about the limitations of the Act. NUT members from several divisions attended the demonstration and President Louise Regan spoke on behalf of the Union. By Philipa Harvey, NUT executive

SCHOOLS increasingly use unqualified staff in place of qualified supply teachers to cover teacher absence. The NUT’s 2017 supply teacher survey, which received a record 1,300 responses, showed that 41 per cent of agency supply teachers say that getting work is becoming increasingly hard. Less than one third of agency teachers say they can get work almost every day, while 39 per cent can only get work about half the time. More than one in ten are being offered no work for weeks at a time. More and more secondary schools are now using unqualified staff to supervise classes, instead of employing professional supply teachers who are trained, qualified and experienced to teach the particular subject. Freedom of Information requests submitted to secondary schools in Sefton show that, in the week of 5 March 2017, 640 lessons in the borough’s 17 secondary schools were supervised by unqualified staff. Kevin Courtney, NUT General Secretary, said: “Agencies have been ripping off schools for years. They pay supply teachers appallingly badly, but their charges are driving schools to turn to unqualified staff.”

Shocking stats on child hunger THE UK is the fifth richest nation on earth, but four million children live in poverty. This equates to nine pupils in every classroom of 30 being poor – and two thirds of these have at least one working parent. A recent United Nations assessment of child health and wellbeing found that the UK has some of the highest levels of hunger and deprivation among the richest nations.

A third in poverty Almost one in five UK children under the age of 15 suffer from food insecurity and one in three experience ‘multidimensional poverty’ involving access to housing, clothing, nutrition and social and leisure activities.

While some poor children are eligible for free school meals during term times, there is a growing problem of school holiday hunger. In March, over half of respondents to a survey of NUT primary members said that pupils at their school were affected. Almost two-fifths (39 per cent) said it was affecting more than a quarter of pupils in their school, with 12 per

Calling all members and NUT reps! Do you have news, views and pictures for the Teacher? We’d love to hear about your campaigns, successes and opinions for publication in the magazine. And we’d welcome your pictures too. If your association has Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, why not send us your posts and photos and let the rest of the Union know what you are up to. Email teacher@nut.org.uk July / August 17 | The Teacher

‘Fantastic – loved it!’ MORE than 120 teachers gathered in Nottingham for this year’s NUT LGBT+ conference. The majority were young teachers, with more than ever attending for the first time. With the theme Moving Forward and Looking Back, delegates had the opportunity to attend a range of workshops, discuss current issues for LGBT+ members and debate a motion to go to NUT annual conference 2018. Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (pictured right), founder of UK Black Pride and a Stonewall trustee, gave a keynote speech telling delegates about the importance of intersectionality and Union membership. One delegate said: “Fantastic – loved it. Very informative, very useful and has inspired me to get back to activism and to

“It’s heartbreaking to hear children not wanting Holiday hunger holidays because they than three quarters (78 per cent) don’t get enough to eat.” More of respondents in schools with pupils

experiencing holiday hunger said that children were turning up to school hungry. And more than a third (37 per cent) said that pupils showed signs of malnourishment. Almost three quarters (73 per cent) said that holiday hunger negatively impacted on their pupils’ education; more than two-thirds (69 per cent) said it negatively affected their social wellbeing. More than half (57 per cent) said it had an impact on their physical health.

“An increasing number of children arrive at school hungry. The only full meal they get is a free school dinner. Grants should fund those families during the holiday period and at school.”

rg.uk

cher@nut.o

tea r newsdesk u o il a m E ? Got a story

cent saying half or more of their pupils experienced holiday hunger.

Keep us in the picture

14

t u o b a d n Out a

Out and about

Less work for agency staff

use what I’ve learnt to bring equality issues back to my school.” Find out about other NUT conferences you might wish to attend at teachers.org. uk/news-events/events

Charter for trainee teachers – what you should expect NUT Charter for School Direct Your rights and

expectations

TRAINING to teach can be a fantastic experience and the first step into the best career in the world. In 2016/17, School Direct trainees made up approximately half the trainee

teachers working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England. The experiences of trainees can vary, from the excellent to the not so good. And if the Government, schools, and training providers don’t get it right, they run the risk of losing passionate teachers before they have even qualified. The NUT has produced a charter for School Direct trainees, offering advice on what you can expect before and during

your course and how the NUT can assist you as you start your career. School reps and local officers can use the charter to engage with School Direct trainees and ensure they are getting the minimum level of support needed to progress as a teacher. Charters have been sent to your local association/division alongside this year’s NQT materials. To request additional copies, email recruit@nut.org.uk

July / August 17 | The Teacher

15


Pros n The chance for a more flexible lifestyle – for childcare purposes, to care for an older relative or for people returning to work after a career break. n Pro rata pay and full teacher contract with associated entitlements – sick pay and maternity leave – as outlined in the Burgundy Book. n Contributions continue into the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. n Can work part-time in different schools, adding up to full-time hours if preferred, and offering varied working environments. n Pension rights – including ‘phased retirement’ when a person nearing retirement can take part of their pension to mitigate reduced earnings from going part-time.

Cons n It can be difficult to find parttime or job-share positions, as some head teachers argue that it increases their costs. The Union has challenged unreasonable and unsubstantiated reasons for refusing job shares. n Planning lessons, marking, evening meetings and reports continue if working part-time, and some people can end up working more hours than they envisaged. n According to a 2016 DfE workload survey, almost a third of part-time teachers reported that 40 per cent of their total hours were worked outside of school, compared to almost a quarter of full-time teachers. The same survey found that 77 per cent of part-time teachers reported spending ‘far too much’ or ‘too much’ time on planning and preparation of lessons, either at school or out-of-school, compared to 64 per cent of fulltime teachers. n It is less common, but not impossible, to hold a promoted post on a part-time or job share basis.

16

July / August 17 | The Teacher

Finding the best road to travel

As the stresses of full-time teaching take their toll at the options of working part-time or as a supply

B

OTH working part-time or supply can have their advantages and disadvantages. Andrew Morris, NUT’s head of pay, conditions and bargaining, said many people aren’t aware of their rights before they make their decision. “Most people go into supply or go parttime because they’re fed up with the hard work of permanent full-time work and bureaucracy, but it can be difficult,” he said. Although flexible working legislation gives everyone the right to request part-time working or a job-share, there is no right to have it, though a school has to give it proper consideration and can only refuse it for specified ‘business reasons’.

Agencies vs apps? The main source of supply work is through agencies, which typically pay considerably less than a teacher would receive if employed directly by a school, and cannot participate in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). The Union is campaigning for a registerbased system for supply teachers, similar to that operating in Northern Ireland, which would give better pay based on national rates and permit access to the TPS. This would also be a much cheaper source of supply teachers for schools than agencies. A new development is an increase in the use of apps. They aim to match teachers and schools, increasing efficiency and reducing costs, and claim to offer better pay. The NUT does not endorse any of these, but is keen to hear from teachers about what they actually offer in practice – let us know at supply@ nut.org.uk

The NUT’s Charter THE NUT’s Charter for Supply Teachers sets out the Union’s aspirations for schools, agencies and teachers. It describes the vital role of supply teachers in providing qualified

on the profession, many teachers are looking teacher. Laraine Clay looks at the pros and cons.

teaching staff in the absence Standing up for of permanent teachers. su pply teachers It calls for supply teachers’ Fair pay, pens pay and conditions to be ns and employmio ent for supply teac improved, and brought hers in line with national pay Funding for schools not arrangements. It calls supply agencie s go to www.tea for fair employment chers.org.uk/sup ply for more arrangements for supply teachers, free from the commercial involvement of agencies. This gives access to better pay and teachers’ pensions, and permanent employment after successful temporary placements without ‘finder’s fees’.

being rung at 7.30am to be asked to “Having worked for 25 years as a get to a school to teach at 8.30am. “I was once sent on an assignment, college lecturer, I now do supply travelling 30 miles, only to be told teaching. There are advantages there had been a mistake – they didn’t – choosing the assignments you need a supply teacher after all. want, when you want them and “The agency argued that my not being responsible for a ten-year assignment didn’t begin until I was in plan or inspections! the classroom, so I received no pay. “However, we are, in effect, on “Some schools organise around ‘zero hours’ contracts. This can mean

n Flexibility to work as and when it suits, giving a degree of control.

n Less stress – daily supply teaching should mean a person can turn up and teach lessons that have already been planned and set, and use resources supplied. n Working in different schools offers more diversity. n After 12 weeks in the same role, agency staff should get the same basic pay and conditions as if employed direct.

Supply conference

ply p u s e h t r o f t h g u Spare a tho

Pros n Can stop and start working whenever they feel like it, although agencies can also dismiss clients with no notice.

Join the NUT at www.teachers .org.uk/join

n MORE than 100 members attended this year’s NUT supply teacher conference. Joined by colleagues from Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ supply teacher membership, they heard General Secretary Kevin Courtney outline how deregulation and private sector ‘solutions’ are being challenged. An alternative to agencies, offering better pay and pensions and employment opportunities, is on the agenda. Speakers involved in organising the Deliveroo dispute offered lessons on using social media to build collectivism. Members were told about progress being made through outward-facing campaigning – whether by exposing the number of lessons now being delivered by unqualified staff, persuading local authorities to strengthen their guidance on agency workers’ rights or networking supply teachers through social media. The Union’s annual supply teacher survey revealed that almost half of respondents say they are finding it increasingly hard to find work. Almost every respondent said they earn much less from agencies than they would receive if employed directly. Visit teachers.org.uk/supply

Supply

Feature

Part-time

n A permanent job can arise out of supply teaching, but beware – agencies may charge ‘finder’s fees’.

Cons n Supply work agencies can be expensive for schools – the average daily charge can be as much as £100 higher than the actual daily pay rate for that teacher.

For more advice… Contact your NUT rep in the first instance, or call the NUT AdviceLine on 020 3006 6266 or email nutadviceline@nut.org.uk If you are in Wales, call 02920 491818. Part-time teachers’ pay and conditions: teachers.org.uk/help-andadvice/self-help/p/pay Guidance on job sharing: teachers.org.uk/help-and-advice/self-help/j/ job-sharing Pensions, including phased retirement: teachers.org.uk/help-andadvice/self-help/p/pensions Supply teacher members’ advice, including the NUT Charter for Supply Teachers: teachers.org.uk/members-reps/supply-teachers

the need for a supply teacher, but others don’t. I have been greeted at reception at 8.45am with nothing more than a list – B7, 35; B9, 33; G8, 42; B9, 35; G4, 34 – and then left to fend for myself. “I often have to rely on pupils for basic information like: ‘Where’s the toilet?’ ‘Is there a canteen?’ ‘What time does the lesson end?’ “There can be more extreme or unpleasant incidents. I have had problems with pupils because

supply teachers are presented as ‘easy game’. Sadly, the supply teacher is usually left to deal with such issues in isolation. “But, there is a sense of achievement to finish the day having managed to locate the school, work out the riddle of the timetable, find the classrooms and even teach something meaningful without the luxury of preparation time.” Helen Tucker

n Employment protection is limited – 12 weeks in the same school ensures some basic rights, such as equal pay, but beware agencies and schools that break the contract before the 12 weeks are up, then re-engage the same person who has to start at week one again. n Agencies are prohibited from paying into the TPS, although the NUT is campaigning to get this changed. n Relationships can be difficult to establish in schools only visited infrequently, and some teachers complain of being allocated the most challenging classes. n There has been no DfEaccredited quality assurance system in place for recruitment agencies since 2013. Check if an agency is a member of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) or trade body APSCO, and if it holds their accreditation marks.

July / August 17 | The Teacher

17


Pros n The chance for a more flexible lifestyle – for childcare purposes, to care for an older relative or for people returning to work after a career break. n Pro rata pay and full teacher contract with associated entitlements – sick pay and maternity leave – as outlined in the Burgundy Book. n Contributions continue into the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. n Can work part-time in different schools, adding up to full-time hours if preferred, and offering varied working environments. n Pension rights – including ‘phased retirement’ when a person nearing retirement can take part of their pension to mitigate reduced earnings from going part-time.

Cons n It can be difficult to find parttime or job-share positions, as some head teachers argue that it increases their costs. The Union has challenged unreasonable and unsubstantiated reasons for refusing job shares. n Planning lessons, marking, evening meetings and reports continue if working part-time, and some people can end up working more hours than they envisaged. n According to a 2016 DfE workload survey, almost a third of part-time teachers reported that 40 per cent of their total hours were worked outside of school, compared to almost a quarter of full-time teachers. The same survey found that 77 per cent of part-time teachers reported spending ‘far too much’ or ‘too much’ time on planning and preparation of lessons, either at school or out-of-school, compared to 64 per cent of fulltime teachers. n It is less common, but not impossible, to hold a promoted post on a part-time or job share basis.

16

July / August 17 | The Teacher

Finding the best road to travel

As the stresses of full-time teaching take their toll at the options of working part-time or as a supply

B

OTH working part-time or supply can have their advantages and disadvantages. Andrew Morris, NUT’s head of pay, conditions and bargaining, said many people aren’t aware of their rights before they make their decision. “Most people go into supply or go parttime because they’re fed up with the hard work of permanent full-time work and bureaucracy, but it can be difficult,” he said. Although flexible working legislation gives everyone the right to request part-time working or a job-share, there is no right to have it, though a school has to give it proper consideration and can only refuse it for specified ‘business reasons’.

Agencies vs apps? The main source of supply work is through agencies, which typically pay considerably less than a teacher would receive if employed directly by a school, and cannot participate in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). The Union is campaigning for a registerbased system for supply teachers, similar to that operating in Northern Ireland, which would give better pay based on national rates and permit access to the TPS. This would also be a much cheaper source of supply teachers for schools than agencies. A new development is an increase in the use of apps. They aim to match teachers and schools, increasing efficiency and reducing costs, and claim to offer better pay. The NUT does not endorse any of these, but is keen to hear from teachers about what they actually offer in practice – let us know at supply@ nut.org.uk

The NUT’s Charter THE NUT’s Charter for Supply Teachers sets out the Union’s aspirations for schools, agencies and teachers. It describes the vital role of supply teachers in providing qualified

on the profession, many teachers are looking teacher. Laraine Clay looks at the pros and cons.

teaching staff in the absence Standing up for of permanent teachers. su pply teachers It calls for supply teachers’ Fair pay, pens pay and conditions to be ns and employmio ent for supply teac improved, and brought hers in line with national pay Funding for schools not arrangements. It calls supply agencie s go to www.tea for fair employment chers.org.uk/sup ply for more arrangements for supply teachers, free from the commercial involvement of agencies. This gives access to better pay and teachers’ pensions, and permanent employment after successful temporary placements without ‘finder’s fees’.

being rung at 7.30am to be asked to “Having worked for 25 years as a get to a school to teach at 8.30am. “I was once sent on an assignment, college lecturer, I now do supply travelling 30 miles, only to be told teaching. There are advantages there had been a mistake – they didn’t – choosing the assignments you need a supply teacher after all. want, when you want them and “The agency argued that my not being responsible for a ten-year assignment didn’t begin until I was in plan or inspections! the classroom, so I received no pay. “However, we are, in effect, on “Some schools organise around ‘zero hours’ contracts. This can mean

n Flexibility to work as and when it suits, giving a degree of control.

n Less stress – daily supply teaching should mean a person can turn up and teach lessons that have already been planned and set, and use resources supplied. n Working in different schools offers more diversity. n After 12 weeks in the same role, agency staff should get the same basic pay and conditions as if employed direct.

Supply conference

ply p u s e h t r o f t h g u Spare a tho

Pros n Can stop and start working whenever they feel like it, although agencies can also dismiss clients with no notice.

Join the NUT at www.teachers .org.uk/join

n MORE than 100 members attended this year’s NUT supply teacher conference. Joined by colleagues from Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ supply teacher membership, they heard General Secretary Kevin Courtney outline how deregulation and private sector ‘solutions’ are being challenged. An alternative to agencies, offering better pay and pensions and employment opportunities, is on the agenda. Speakers involved in organising the Deliveroo dispute offered lessons on using social media to build collectivism. Members were told about progress being made through outward-facing campaigning – whether by exposing the number of lessons now being delivered by unqualified staff, persuading local authorities to strengthen their guidance on agency workers’ rights or networking supply teachers through social media. The Union’s annual supply teacher survey revealed that almost half of respondents say they are finding it increasingly hard to find work. Almost every respondent said they earn much less from agencies than they would receive if employed directly. Visit teachers.org.uk/supply

Supply

Feature

Part-time

n A permanent job can arise out of supply teaching, but beware – agencies may charge ‘finder’s fees’.

Cons n Supply work agencies can be expensive for schools – the average daily charge can be as much as £100 higher than the actual daily pay rate for that teacher.

For more advice… Contact your NUT rep in the first instance, or call the NUT AdviceLine on 020 3006 6266 or email nutadviceline@nut.org.uk If you are in Wales, call 02920 491818. Part-time teachers’ pay and conditions: teachers.org.uk/help-andadvice/self-help/p/pay Guidance on job sharing: teachers.org.uk/help-and-advice/self-help/j/ job-sharing Pensions, including phased retirement: teachers.org.uk/help-andadvice/self-help/p/pensions Supply teacher members’ advice, including the NUT Charter for Supply Teachers: teachers.org.uk/members-reps/supply-teachers

the need for a supply teacher, but others don’t. I have been greeted at reception at 8.45am with nothing more than a list – B7, 35; B9, 33; G8, 42; B9, 35; G4, 34 – and then left to fend for myself. “I often have to rely on pupils for basic information like: ‘Where’s the toilet?’ ‘Is there a canteen?’ ‘What time does the lesson end?’ “There can be more extreme or unpleasant incidents. I have had problems with pupils because

supply teachers are presented as ‘easy game’. Sadly, the supply teacher is usually left to deal with such issues in isolation. “But, there is a sense of achievement to finish the day having managed to locate the school, work out the riddle of the timetable, find the classrooms and even teach something meaningful without the luxury of preparation time.” Helen Tucker

n Employment protection is limited – 12 weeks in the same school ensures some basic rights, such as equal pay, but beware agencies and schools that break the contract before the 12 weeks are up, then re-engage the same person who has to start at week one again. n Agencies are prohibited from paying into the TPS, although the NUT is campaigning to get this changed. n Relationships can be difficult to establish in schools only visited infrequently, and some teachers complain of being allocated the most challenging classes. n There has been no DfEaccredited quality assurance system in place for recruitment agencies since 2013. Check if an agency is a member of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) or trade body APSCO, and if it holds their accreditation marks.

July / August 17 | The Teacher

17


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KEY workers in West Ham have forced a climb-down after their housing association tried to impose a 40 per cent rent increase. The group of teachers, nurses and social workers successfully campaigned against One Housing Group’s (OHG) plan to raise their rents by up to 40 per cent a month.

Success

Key workers’ rent victory Unaffordable hike Tenants were worried that they could not meet the increase. Many feared they would have to uproot themselves, move miles away from friends, family and work or go into flat shares. “I want to continue teaching but the reality is that I can’t afford to do that without key worker housing,” said One Housing Tenants’ Action Group chair Truus Jansen, 43. “I’m a professional and I’m an adult. It’s not that I don’t want to share but I’ve done that.” After hearing about OHG’s plans, tenants organised protests against the rises, which were imposed without proper consultation.

NUT General Secretary Kevin Courtney joins One Housing Tenants’ Action Group chair, Truus Jansen (also pictured below), at a protest

Tenants contacted the NUT and the London Teachers’ Housing campaign to bring in wider support and organised meetings on the estate. A large proportion then agreed to transfer their rent payments from direct debit to standing order – which meant tenants had the power to amend or stop payments – and wrote to OHG asking for proper consultation and a reconsideration of the increase.

Vital for key workers A tenants’ association was formed, involving key workers from West Ham and Canning Town. The support of Newham NUT and the local Trades Council followed, helping to pay for meeting rooms and publicity.

NUT General Secretary Kevin Courtney wrote to OHG explaining the vital importance of key worker housing in London. In response to the growing pressure, the housing association sent an email to tenants announcing that it would put rent rises “on hold” and suspend changes in tenancy agreements “pending further discussions with residents”. “I am delighted – and cautious at the same time – that OHG has decided to not implement the increase” said Truus. “OHG Head of Portfolio Management Robert Marcantoni mentioned specifically the letter Kevin wrote on our behalf. It could not have been done so quickly without his input and the clear backing of the NUT. And the London Teachers’ Housing Campaign was incredible.”

Refund for sixth form strike pay deductions SIXTH form college teachers who have taken strike action in the last six years should now be able to secure a refund of part of the deduction made from their pay. The Supreme Court ruled last month that pay deductions for strike action should be at a rate of 1/365 of annual pay (the rate that applies in schools) and not the higher 1/260 rate which colleges have traditionally used. Teachers in sixth form colleges who took part in the June and

November 2011 national strikes, or in any local or national strike since then, can apply to the County Court to have the difference refunded.

Reimbursement help

The Union is seeking to persuade all colleges to agree to make the reimbursement, without the need for legal action which would be impossible for them to defend. Full details are on the NUT website at teachers.org.uk/6FCs

The sums may be small – perhaps £15 to £30 depending on salary – but the principle is important. The NUT will be offering advice and assistance to these members to help them secure their reimbursement.

n This is a further important legal victory for sixth form college teachers, following the NUT’s success in protecting the right to take strike action in sixth form colleges last year.

July / August 17 | The Teacher

19


THE Union recognises that bullying in schools and colleges may be part of a much larger problem. It can be a by-product of excessive workload and working hours, cuts to school and college funding and the constant demand for data to feed excessive assessment regimes.

“To be strong and survive in this pressurecooker environment, teachers need positive encouragement, praise and support.” Mary Thornton (left) & Pat Bricheno

When teachers are bullied A new book reveals the plight of teachers being driven from the job they love by a bullying colleague. Laraine Clay reports.

T

HE “pressure-cooker” environment in which teachers, heads and governors are forced to work is pushing some people into bullying behaviour – and driving staff out of the profession. A new book based on research into this behaviour cites real-life examples of the conditions many teachers have to endure and the effect it can have on their mental and physical health. Crying in Cupboards: What Happens When Teachers Are Bullied? is written by University of Hertfordshire researchers Pat Bricheno and Mary Thornton, who wanted to shed light on the “hidden world” of teachers being bullied. 20

July / August 17 | The Teacher

“A great deal has been written about children being bullied, both in school and on the internet,” they write. “However little is known, or heard, by the public about teachers being bullied by the adults they work with inside their schools.”

Hounded out The researchers spoke to 39 teachers, aged 26-65, about their experiences of bullying, which in some cases has driven them from the profession they once loved. And interviews actually include stories of staff hiding or crying in cupboards, as the book title suggests. Jenny was in her first teaching job when a new head arrived. Just one term into the post, the head began criticising her teaching methods and picking on her when they were alone. “I found myself hiding in cupboards so that she wouldn’t be able to come and criticise me,” Jenny said. “And I would think – I’m 27, why am I standing here in the dark not wanting her to know I’m here? My health and confidence suffered.”

improvements since their research in 2012. Many of the teachers interviewed spoke about a reluctance to put their head above the parapet in case they became the bully’s next victim. The union reps, however, recommended collective action as the best way of dealing with bullying, which often saw successful outcomes.

Keep a record

She was eventually threatened with capability proceedings but did not want to jeopardise her career “by being the one who gets the union involved”. “I was a young teacher up against a head who, for whatever reason, had decided that she didn’t want me at the school and had taken action to force me out,” she said. “Later in my career I might have made a complaint but not at that stage. I felt the only course I could take was to hand in my notice.” By the end of the year, at least three other teachers had also left because of bullying.

Targeted bullying Pat and Mary believe there are many underlying reasons for the types of bullying behaviours quoted in their book, not least of which are the stresses of modern teaching with constant changes imposed by successive governments and increasing monitoring of schools’ performance. The book includes interviews with union reps, head teachers and senior managers about ways of dealing with bullying, and they believe there have been

The union reps recommended that a victim should keep a record of incidents and communications they have with the bully. This can help with mediation and to stop bad behaviour developing further. It can also be used as evidence when members pursue complaints, which can be made under specific harassment and bullying policies adopted by employers. Pat and Mary wrote: “To be strong and to survive in this current pressure-cooker environment, teachers need positive encouragement, praise and head teacher/ management support.” And they conclude: “Teachers crying in cupboards is an unhealthy, unrewarding and damaging scenario for everyone – Government, school managers, teachers and ultimately the education of our children.”

To read more… Crying in Cupboards: What Happens When Teachers Are Bullied? by Pat Bricheno and Mary Thornton Published by: Troubador Publishing Ltd. Price: £12.99.

A consequence of this regime is that teachers who refuse to be micro-managed, or spend their weekends engaging in excessive marking and lesson planning, are labelled as ‘failing’ and often targeted for dismissal.

Crying in cupboards

ing y l l u b f o e c n Zero tolera

The most effective means of stopping bullying is for members to work together. The action taken depends on the strength of the Union in the workplace, the root cause of the bullying and the willingness of the employer to acknowledge there is a problem. The Union has sought to place bullying firmly within the sphere of health and safety, and encouraged health and safety reps to use their rights under legislation to stop it. The NUT’s Mental Health Charter (see page 31) establishes the principle that every teacher has the right to a safe workplace and that includes one free from bullying and harassment. It’s important to involve the Union at the earliest opportunity but below are some steps you can take to help protect your legal position: n To aid your memory of events, keep notes (ideally at home, rather than at work) of the alleged behaviour, with details and dates of the incidents and any witnesses. n Be frank about your reasons for believing that you are being/ were bullied. n If there is physical evidence of the treatment you are complaining about, such as emails and other correspondence, attach them to your notes. n The Union believes matters are more effectively dealt with through a collective response. It will support members who are willing to make complaints through the grievance procedure. If you believe the Union should pursue the matter legally, it’s important that you lodge a formal grievance. A failure to do so may reduce the value of any award you subsequently receive from a tribunal. n Even if you do not want to lodge a formal grievance, always put your dissatisfaction in writing to your line manager (whether or not your complaint is about them). By doing this, you will put your employer on notice that you have concerns. Your NUT division or Regional/Wales office will be able to guide you on the content of your complaint. n The NUT AdviceLine can also help. Call 020 3006 6266 or email nutadviceline@nut.org.uk – include your name, membership number and association/division name. n Educate yourself about your rights and entitlements by accessing freely available advice on the internet. The NUT has information at teachers.org.uk/help-and-advice/self-help/b/ bullying and teachers.org.uk/help-and-advice/health-and-safety/ mental-health-charter n If you want to make a formal complaint act promptly. There are strict time limits that apply to tribunal claims and, if you miss them, the Union may not be able to take legal action on your behalf.

ISBN: 978-1-78589275-2 July / August 17 | The Teacher

21


THE Union recognises that bullying in schools and colleges may be part of a much larger problem. It can be a by-product of excessive workload and working hours, cuts to school and college funding and the constant demand for data to feed excessive assessment regimes.

“To be strong and survive in this pressurecooker environment, teachers need positive encouragement, praise and support.” Mary Thornton (left) & Pat Bricheno

When teachers are bullied A new book reveals the plight of teachers being driven from the job they love by a bullying colleague. Laraine Clay reports.

T

HE “pressure-cooker” environment in which teachers, heads and governors are forced to work is pushing some people into bullying behaviour – and driving staff out of the profession. A new book based on research into this behaviour cites real-life examples of the conditions many teachers have to endure and the effect it can have on their mental and physical health. Crying in Cupboards: What Happens When Teachers Are Bullied? is written by University of Hertfordshire researchers Pat Bricheno and Mary Thornton, who wanted to shed light on the “hidden world” of teachers being bullied. 20

July / August 17 | The Teacher

“A great deal has been written about children being bullied, both in school and on the internet,” they write. “However little is known, or heard, by the public about teachers being bullied by the adults they work with inside their schools.”

Hounded out The researchers spoke to 39 teachers, aged 26-65, about their experiences of bullying, which in some cases has driven them from the profession they once loved. And interviews actually include stories of staff hiding or crying in cupboards, as the book title suggests. Jenny was in her first teaching job when a new head arrived. Just one term into the post, the head began criticising her teaching methods and picking on her when they were alone. “I found myself hiding in cupboards so that she wouldn’t be able to come and criticise me,” Jenny said. “And I would think – I’m 27, why am I standing here in the dark not wanting her to know I’m here? My health and confidence suffered.”

improvements since their research in 2012. Many of the teachers interviewed spoke about a reluctance to put their head above the parapet in case they became the bully’s next victim. The union reps, however, recommended collective action as the best way of dealing with bullying, which often saw successful outcomes.

Keep a record

She was eventually threatened with capability proceedings but did not want to jeopardise her career “by being the one who gets the union involved”. “I was a young teacher up against a head who, for whatever reason, had decided that she didn’t want me at the school and had taken action to force me out,” she said. “Later in my career I might have made a complaint but not at that stage. I felt the only course I could take was to hand in my notice.” By the end of the year, at least three other teachers had also left because of bullying.

Targeted bullying Pat and Mary believe there are many underlying reasons for the types of bullying behaviours quoted in their book, not least of which are the stresses of modern teaching with constant changes imposed by successive governments and increasing monitoring of schools’ performance. The book includes interviews with union reps, head teachers and senior managers about ways of dealing with bullying, and they believe there have been

The union reps recommended that a victim should keep a record of incidents and communications they have with the bully. This can help with mediation and to stop bad behaviour developing further. It can also be used as evidence when members pursue complaints, which can be made under specific harassment and bullying policies adopted by employers. Pat and Mary wrote: “To be strong and to survive in this current pressure-cooker environment, teachers need positive encouragement, praise and head teacher/ management support.” And they conclude: “Teachers crying in cupboards is an unhealthy, unrewarding and damaging scenario for everyone – Government, school managers, teachers and ultimately the education of our children.”

To read more… Crying in Cupboards: What Happens When Teachers Are Bullied? by Pat Bricheno and Mary Thornton Published by: Troubador Publishing Ltd. Price: £12.99.

A consequence of this regime is that teachers who refuse to be micro-managed, or spend their weekends engaging in excessive marking and lesson planning, are labelled as ‘failing’ and often targeted for dismissal.

Crying in cupboards

ing y l l u b f o e c n Zero tolera

The most effective means of stopping bullying is for members to work together. The action taken depends on the strength of the Union in the workplace, the root cause of the bullying and the willingness of the employer to acknowledge there is a problem. The Union has sought to place bullying firmly within the sphere of health and safety, and encouraged health and safety reps to use their rights under legislation to stop it. The NUT’s Mental Health Charter (see page 31) establishes the principle that every teacher has the right to a safe workplace and that includes one free from bullying and harassment. It’s important to involve the Union at the earliest opportunity but below are some steps you can take to help protect your legal position: n To aid your memory of events, keep notes (ideally at home, rather than at work) of the alleged behaviour, with details and dates of the incidents and any witnesses. n Be frank about your reasons for believing that you are being/ were bullied. n If there is physical evidence of the treatment you are complaining about, such as emails and other correspondence, attach them to your notes. n The Union believes matters are more effectively dealt with through a collective response. It will support members who are willing to make complaints through the grievance procedure. If you believe the Union should pursue the matter legally, it’s important that you lodge a formal grievance. A failure to do so may reduce the value of any award you subsequently receive from a tribunal. n Even if you do not want to lodge a formal grievance, always put your dissatisfaction in writing to your line manager (whether or not your complaint is about them). By doing this, you will put your employer on notice that you have concerns. Your NUT division or Regional/Wales office will be able to guide you on the content of your complaint. n The NUT AdviceLine can also help. Call 020 3006 6266 or email nutadviceline@nut.org.uk – include your name, membership number and association/division name. n Educate yourself about your rights and entitlements by accessing freely available advice on the internet. The NUT has information at teachers.org.uk/help-and-advice/self-help/b/ bullying and teachers.org.uk/help-and-advice/health-and-safety/ mental-health-charter n If you want to make a formal complaint act promptly. There are strict time limits that apply to tribunal claims and, if you miss them, the Union may not be able to take legal action on your behalf.

ISBN: 978-1-78589275-2 July / August 17 | The Teacher

21


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Michael Title Rosen bar

The Chair In London W1 1 a school. In the sch ool a room In the room . a chair. A chair that is empty. A chair th at waits. But no one comes. ty. r is emp i a h c e h T Here come words. Words are ying. of words, ll u f is ir a The and the words oat down, down on to th e chair. The chair m. in the roo The room

in the school. ol The scho in London W1 1.

Poem by Michael Rosen Illustration by Dan Berry July / August 17 | The Teacher

23


Great Wall of China Trek 25 MAY-2 JUNE 2018

Trek the Great Wall of China and raise funds for the children’s charity of your choice For more information and to register online:

www.actionforcharity.co.uk 01590 646410 | events@dreamchallenges.co.uk @DreamChallenges

@DreamChallenges

#LetsTrekForChildren

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Title Housing bar

Home truths Britain is in the midst of a housing crisis. Nationally, house prices are six-and-half times the average income and, in London, the figure rises to a whopping 14 times the average. For key workers, this has been made worse by a wage freeze. Emily Jenkins spoke to teachers struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

R

OB Behan is a teacher in Newham, east London. He and his young family live in a one-bed flat that costs £1,100 a month before bills. The rent takes up around 60 per cent of his take-home pay. On top of that, he has to cover other basic costs such as bills, food, transport and childcare. “A mortgage would be much cheaper,” Rob said. “But if you’re on this treadmill of paying £1,100 a month, you can’t put anything aside.” Teachers in the capital are struggling. A 2015 NUT survey of members under 35 in London found more living at home with their parents (almost 20 per cent) than owning their own home. The vast majority were renting privately but, with an average of £2,000 per month for a three-bed, a family home in which to bring up children has become something those who teach the capital’s children just can’t afford. And home ownership, as people like Rob can testify, is often out of the question – the average price of a home in London has now broken the £600,000 mark. Key worker housing, which is meant to provide reduced rates for public sector workers such as teachers and nurses, is disappearing in many areas. Those that

remain are not only oversubscribed, but under pressure from landlords looking to maximise income from rental property (see page 19). It is no surprise that 60 per cent of teachers surveyed said they were planning to leave London in the next

five years, many stating housing costs as the main reason. Those remaining are being forced to live in cramped, shared accommodation or to move further out, where they face long journeys and considerable transport costs. n continued on pages 26 & 27. July / August 17 | The Teacher

25


We spoke to four teachers, living around London and the South East, about the difficulties they face and the alternative living situations they have found to escape the overwhelming costs of housing.

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“IF you’d asked me ten years ago, I would have expected to have saved for a deposit at this point in my life,” said Rob Behan. As a teacher in the outer London borough of Newham, he finds the cost of housing takes up the lion’s share of his wages. He describes his living situation as “far from ideal” – he and his partner live in a one-bed flat in neighbouring Leyton with their two-yearold son (pictured right). “I worry about his development,” Rob said. “He’s not got a room of his own. I think it’s really important a child has their own space and I don’t know what we’re going to do as he gets older.” He has tried to find alternatives – the family were holding out hope of moving up the council house waiting list in his native borough of Camden. But, in January 2016, after being on the waiting list for five years, he was told that the rules had changed and that you had to have been a resident for at least five of the last seven years to qualify. Rob didn’t meet the criteria as the family moved to escape the cripplingly high rents in his home borough. “It was worse than going back to square one,” Rob told me. I ask him what he’s going to do in the future. “I don’t know,” he said. “I love my job but living here is simply unaffordable. I have real concerns for my family’s future.”

Chantelle Holt guardian an

ter in Aptnaidn yof thW na e ca ls ca

ANDY Winter, a 38-year-old media teacher from north London, has spent the last four years living on a boat. He bought his 8ft-wide narrowboat for £10,000 with a £2,500 deposit and a £7,500 mortgage. “It was the only home I could afford to buy,” he explained. “I rented for 15 years, spending hundreds of thousands of pounds with a private landlord. But when I looked into buying a flat, at the age of 34, I couldn’t afford it. I gave up on ever getting a property anywhere near London.” Andy did the math. With his monthly take-home salary of £1,540.28, and the average rent in Redbridge borough being £1,000 per month – not including bills and council tax at around £200 – he 26

July / August 17 | The Teacher

“In one building I had to have a bath by filling it up with water from the kettle.”

would have £340.28 left with which to pay for food, clothes, travel and anything else he needed. “I don’t see many DfE adverts saying: ‘Be a teacher and you could end up with £85 a week’,” Andy joked. Although he is now the proud owner of his own moveable home, life on the canal does come with a down side. Due to the cost of permanent mooring – around £750 a month – Andy has to move his boat every two weeks or he will be fined. Consequently, his daily commute to school can take as much as an hour and a half by car. “And, yes, after I’ve moved the boat, I have to go all the way back to get the car!” he said.

“I’VE lived in an old orphanage, a warehouse, and friends have even lived in police stations.” Chantelle Holt (pictured above), a teacher in south London, is a property guardian. For a reduced rent, she lives in vacant properties that are waiting to be redeveloped. She pays less than the average rent in the area in which she works, and often shares a building with ten to 15 others. “The rooms are reasonably spacious. And, if you enjoy living with other people, it can be quite sociable,” she said. However, as a guardian, Chantelle has no legal rights as a tenant and is only given two weeks’ notice to vacate a property. “There are also lots of other rules,” she said. She is not allowed to touch the heating – so it can get very cold in old


Housing

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“I HAVE had a job since I was 16, worked hard to earn money and save. Now I’m nearly 30 and, if I was living on my own, I’d get nowhere at all to live. It’s unjust.” Andy Shute (pictured) lives in Leigh-on-Sea, in Essex. Homes in the town don’t command London prices, but mortgages and rent are still far more than he can afford. He currently lives in a converted attic in the home of a colleague. “It’s a bit of a man cave,” he said. “But it has an en-suite and a bed and room for a desk. And it’s much cheaper than the market rent so I’m able to save a bit.” Andy started saving to buy a home of his own while he was still at university. Yet when he applied for a mortgage he was told that, due to his salary, the maximum he could get was £128K – nowhere near enough for even a one-bed. “Hearing that my salary was too low for a reasonable mortgage made me so angry and

frustrated,” said Andy. “Teaching is a respectable profession and, hopefully, a job for life. I should be able to afford to live in the place that I work.” Unable to get a place on his own, he and his girlfriend pooled their resources and, at the time of going to press, had just had an offer accepted on a one-bed flat. “It’s pretty small and not exactly what we wanted but it’s ours. But it’s still annoying that I couldn’t have done this on my own,” Andy said.

Helping you get on the property ladder THE Teachers Building Society was founded in 1966 to help teachers get on to the property ladder. It assesses each case individually and provides mortgages designed around its understanding of the working hours, pay system and employment contracts of teachers.

ngel buildings. “Sometimes the hot water doesn’t work. In one building, I had to have a bath by filling it up with water from the kettle.” She is not allowed more than two visitors at any time, must ask permission for overnight guests, and be in the property at least once every 24 hours – which makes holidays difficult. “I’d love to be able to just buy a place, decorate it how I like, live on my own – that would be the ideal,” Chantelle said. “My contemporaries in other parts of the country, people I went to school with, have all got properties and have that stability. “I didn’t really expect this when I became a teacher. We work hard doing a public service and I think it’s a shame we can’t afford to live nearby or own a home of our own.”

Capital campaign THE London Teachers’ Housing Campaign is a grassroots organisation that seeks to bring teachers and housing campaigners together to fight for affordable housing for all – through rent controls, greater security and council housing. It also seeks to protect and promote key worker housing and calls for an increase in London weighting. Fourteen NUT branches are currently affiliated. If you want a speaker to come to your association, or want further details of its work, email info. lthc@gmail.com or find the group on Facebook.

The society can:

n Provide mortgages to newly qualified teachers, despite them working on a temporary contract. Funds can be released one month before a post starts. n Provide mortgages for supply teachers and those working on temporary or fixed-term contracts, even if applying for a mortgage on their own (subject to affordability and lending criteria). n Help teachers looking for 95 per cent mortgages and affordable housing schemes – Help to Buy and Shared Ownership. n Lend up to five times joint income (subject to affordability). n Support teachers throughout their career – even providing mortgages for those already in or approaching retirement. Visit teachers bs.co.uk or call 0800 378 669. July / August 17 | The Teacher

27


Head in the clouds or a future aerospace technician? Can you spot the skills required to make a great technician problem solving and critical thinking for example? With a rich variety of rewarding career options available, too few students, who would thrive on a technical career pathway, ever get the chance to find out if it is right for them. With the roll-out of a new national Skills Plan which will transform technical education and an Industrial Strategy that

puts technicians at the heart of the country’s economic success, there has never been a better time to pursue a technical career. So if you think one of your students has the right skills, why not inspire them to make it happen?

For more information and downloadable resources, visit technicians.org.uk

The encouragement and promotion of vital STEM technician roles in the UK is supported by The Gatsby Charitable Foundation. Find out more at: gatsby.org.uk


Schools celebrated Refugee Week in June with students learning about diversity, unity and refugees’ stories. Melisa Mujkanovic fled from Bosnia and is now an English teacher at Crown Hill Community College in Leicester. She told Emily Jenkins her story.

Refugee Week

Building a new life “I

REMEMBER the day the war started. My mum was cutting my aunt’s hair and I was upset that she hadn’t let me bring my doll. Then suddenly grenades started falling from the sky.” Melisa Mujkanovic was five years old when Serbian forces attacked the town of Kozorac in Bosnia in 1992. Along with her mother, aunt and ten-year-old sister, she was forced to hide in a cellar. “We were there for the majority of the day listening to the gunfire and explosions. When the grenades finally stopped, we ran to my grandma’s house. My mother cut mine and my sister’s hair to make us look like boys, to protect us from the soldiers,” Melissa said. Before long, the family were forced to turn themselves in to Serbian forces. Separated from their father, the family were sent to a concentration camp.

Melisa as a child with her family, and (below) revisiting Bosnia with an NUT delegation

Desperate for water They were transported by tram. “We were crushed in like sardines. You couldn’t breathe and there was no light. Suddenly, the tram stopped and one of the commanders said: ‘If you want water, there’s water outside.’ “My mum thought she was going to die of thirst but wouldn’t let any of us go. When the women that did go for water eventually came back, they were shaking and silent… they never said what happened to them but it was obvious.” Melisa, her mother and her sister spent nine months being moved between camps. One day, they managed to escape and ended up in a Red Cross centre. Eventually, the family were offered the chance to come to England. “My mum wasn’t sure whether we should go. We had no idea where my father was or if he was alive,” she said. They arrived in Yorkshire and spent the first month with a local family. One day, they were watching ITV news

More useful links The NUT has an advice guide for teachers on welcoming refugee children in to school. Visit teachers.org.uk/equality/ equality-matters/refugeeteaching-resources

about the Bosnian war and footage of a concentration camp. “My sister recognised him, but I didn’t. He was just so emaciated,” Melissa said. They had seen their father in the report. The family they were staying with began helping them locate the camp and bring their father to join them. “The day he came back was extremely special to us,” Melissa smiled. “I wish I could find the people that helped us again to thank them.”

Outskirts of society Life wasn’t plain sailing as a refugee. “You feel as though you are on the outskirts of society. You don’t understand the language or the system, you don’t know where to go for support. You don’t know how connect with people. “In Bosnia, neighbour turned against neighbour. Serbian turned against Bosnian purely for the fact we were Muslim. So how do you assimilate in a country, build relationships and trust people?” Despite this, Melisa did well at school, getting A*s, As and Bs at GCSE.

“I knew I had to be good at English, so I worked my socks off.” Despite it being her second language, Melisa decided to become an English teacher, and has now been teaching for seven years. “You can make great changes through education,” she said. “You’re not just changing one child, you’re opening doors to all professions. “I use my subject to deal with themes of discrimination, prejudice and unity through poetry and literature.” Melisa recently went back to Bosnia with the NUT on a delegation to Srebrenica. “It was an incredible experience for me but I found it extremely difficult. I hadn’t realised how much healing I still had to do. There’s a culture of silence around war. My father still suffers from PTSD. But it’s important to talk about these things.” When I asked her what we can do to help refugees coming into the country, she said: “We need to train teachers to understand the sort of baggage children can come with. “Many will have lost siblings, parents, friends or be totally alone. Of course, we need to start teaching them the National Curriculum and the language but, most importantly, they need support. “Refugees make a huge contribution. They bring new experiences and enrich our society. And I think it’s imperative we lift barriers to inclusion. “We need to remember: refugees don’t choose to leave their homes. You’re a refugee because you’ve been forced to flee. If we close our doors to people who need safety, what does that make us?” July / August 17 | The Teacher

29


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www.dogstrust.org.uk Registered Charity Numbers: 227523 & SC037843


Assistant Head Teacher Kauser Jan’s ‘gold standard’ sex and relationship classes are so much more than just the birds and the bees.

I

AM an Assistant Head Teacher in a three-form entry primary school, which serves a multiethnic community. I lead in the teaching of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). When I took over the role 15 years ago, I was told: “We don’t do sex and relationship education because parents object.” I met with parents to discuss their concerns and it quickly transpired that there was a misunderstanding that we were going to promote sexual activity. I planned lessons for the curriculum that addressed physical, moral and emotional development and then took the material out to parents, the community nurse and the local imam. As soon as I said the words sex and relationship education to some, they shut the discussion down. So, I rebranded it as Living and Growing.

Listening to parents Immediately, I was met with more positive attitudes. I gave parents the space to hear what needed to be taught and listened to their concerns. The delivery is in single-gender groups, from years 4 to 6. The content was:

FGM AMNESTY International figures indicate that 60,000 girls living in England and Wales are at risk of the illegal practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) every year. It is a statutory requirement for teachers to report any cases where they know FGM has occurred. The Union offers guidance about teachers’ duties under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 at teachers.org.uk/help-andadvice/self-help/s/safeguarding

How to report it The NUT advises teachers to report cases to their school’s safeguarding lead and keep a written record. Discuss the issue at staff or union meetings to establish procedures. n for teachers: amnesty.org.uk/ blogs/classroom-community/10education-resources-fgm and nspcc.

handful of pupils being withdrawn. The feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly supportive. One parent wrote: “It’s wonderful that our children are being taught about their physical and emotional changes. There is a lot to be celebrated, but the fact that we allow the pupils to be taught sensitively in a manner where children feel safe to ask questions is amazing. Our children are being developed and empowered. We can’t praise this work enough.”

Sex and relationship education Title bar

Educate, advise, empower

Vital life lessons year 4 – puberty; year 5 – puberty, 28-day cycle, sanitary protection and conception; year 6 – review of previous curriculum, conception, female genital mutilation and child sexual exploitation. It is delivered with the school nurse, class teachers, support staff and local community police officers. I don’t ask parents for permission for delivery of the lessons, but do give them an opportunity to discuss things with me. We have taught Living and Growing for the past 12 years, with only a

org.uk/preventing-abuse/childabuse-and-neglect/female-genitalmutilation-fgm

Our school nurse said: “It’s the one time I get to do what I love the most... educate, advise, empower and strip away barriers to the learning of vital life lessons.” The teaching of Living and Growing is vital. These are real life lessons that need to be taught in primary school so that pupils are informed, to know what is happening to their physical and emotional state. To know how to look after themselves and to know their rights. To do anything less is truly a disservice and denying them their entitlement. By Kauser Jan, Assistant Head Teacher, Bankside Primary School, Leeds

n for pupils: NSPCC helpline – 0800 028 3550; Childline – 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk; and the Petals webapp petals.coventry.ac.uk

professional they may confide in. Learners are unlikely to use the phrase ‘forced marriage’ in conversations, but they may allude to older siblings “sent back home” to marry a relative or family friend. They may also exhibit unusual negative behaviours.

Forced marriage

How to report it

TEACHERS play a valuable role in helping to prevent forced marriages, particularly at this time of year, says a human rights charity. Many young people are forced to marry while still attending school, and are often taken abroad for the ceremony during the holidays. Jasvinder Sanghera, founder of the Karma Nirvana charity which supports victims of forced marriages, says school may be the only place where young people will meet adults outside their community, which means that a teacher could be the only

If you have worries or concerns, discuss them immediately with the safeguarding lead in your school or college. Reports should be made in good time, by the next working day after the disclosure is made. Upon receipt of the report, the designated teacher will decide after discussion with appropriate agencies, such as the Government’s Forced Marriage Unit, whether the matter should be referred to the police. It can be contacted on 020 7008 0151 or visit gov.uk/guidance/ forced-marriage

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On September 1, the NUT and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers will become the National Education Union – an exciting step in our proud history. Emily Jenkins looks back on 147 years of fighting for education.

The struggle goes on

1870-1914 theucation struggle for ed THE National Union of Elementary Teachers (1) was established in June 1870, comprising just 400 members. Its twin concerns were improving teachers’ pay, conditions and status and securing reform to extend and improve state education. It campaigned for security of tenure and increased salaries, and against extraneous duties such as playing the church organ on Sundays. Above all, it campaigned against the hated Revised Code, under which the size of school grants and teachers’ salaries depended on pupils’ exam results – and achieved an early success when the system was abolished in 1897. Teachers’ pension rights, abolished in 1862, were restored the following year.

st 1914-1939 lonryge strike in histo

NUT Rally, Martineau Club, 23 April 1985

THE Burston school strike began when Kitty and Tom Higdon, a wife and husband team of headmistress and assistant master and both NUT members, were sacked. Tom had been recruiting labourers to the agricultural workers’ union, while Kate’s

1

uncompromising campaign for proper heating and drains for the school also upset the local squirearchy and church worthies. The pupils of their Norfolk village school came out on strike on 1 April 1914, calling for the reinstatement of their teachers. When this was unsuccessful, the village set up a strike school (2) which, with contributions from the trade union and labour movement, lasted until 1939 – the longest strike in history.

government representatives – came into being as the negotiating forum for teachers’ pay and conditions.

r 1919 equal pay sfo er women teach SINCE 1904, the National Federation of Women Teachers (NFWT) had been a part

1915-1919 what kind of union?

22

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July / August 17 | The Teacher

IN 1915, the Union moved to Hamilton House (3), Mabledon Place, London WC1, where it has remained ever since. The 1918 Education Act secured the Union’s aims of free, compulsory, full-time education to the age of 14 and stronger local education authority finances. That year saw a countrywide wave of teachers’ strikes on pay which continued into 1919, most notably in the Rhondda with support from the miners and railwaymen. In a referendum of the Union’s 110,000 members in 1919, teachers voted by two to one against affiliation to the Labour Party. That political independence has been maintained ever since. The secretary of the Board of Education agreed to the NUT’s demand for a national pay scale. And so, in 1919, the Burnham committee – made up of teachers, LEA and

3


of the NUT and campaigned hard on equal pay. In 1919, a referendum of all NUT members approved the principle of equal pay for women teachers. The NUT changed its journal’s title in 1925 from The Schoolmaster to The Schoolmaster and Women Teachers’ Chronicle.

th 1920-1939 grow on despite depressi DURING the post-war depression and mass unemployment, the Union’s main concern was to fight pay cuts. It had some success at national level, but some local

History of the Union

Teachers and pupils of St Michael’s Church of England School, Coventry, campaigning against cuts, 5 April 1985

authorities were determined to ignore national settlements. A major dispute took place in Lowestoft where the education committee tried to cut pay by ten per cent. With the support of other unions and, crucially, parents, NUT members set up strike schools and the authority backed down.

ndary 1940-1970 seco l al education for

Margaret Thatcher addressing the 1970 NUT Conference Dinner

THE groundbreaking 1944 Act brought in free secondary education for all, raised the school leaving age to 15 from 1947, set up a tripartite system of grammar, secondary modern and technical schools, and made it statutory for LEAs to pay the Burnham-agreed rates of pay. In addition, women teachers would no longer be forced to leave their jobs when they married and, in 1946, a Royal Commission recommended equal pay for women teachers In 1963, the Union’s journal changed its name to The Teacher. In 1965, the Labour government requested proposals from all LEAs to move from a tripartite to comprehensive system. In 1968, the new Bachelor of Education degree heralded the all-graduate profession. The following year saw the Union’s first ever national stoppage, when members in July / August 17 | The Teacher

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History of the Union (Left) Pay action demo, Bristol, 1985; (top right) a Welsh NUT meeting in the early 1970s; (bottom right) Bruce Hogan, Secretary of the Forest of Dean NUT, campaigning in the1980s

over 300 schools were out for two weeks after pay negotiations had broken down. By its 100th birthday, the NUT had nearly 300,000 members.

flict 1970-1997 con g in n ig pa and cam IN 1972, the NUT affiliated to the TUC to more effectively influence national economic policy affecting teachers’ salaries. In 1974, teachers won a substantial pay rise after the Houghton Report. For a few years teachers felt reasonably well off, but rampant inflation and government pay restraint ate away the gains. In the same year, the school leaving age was raised to 16. The 1980s under Margaret Thatcher – nicknamed ‘the milk snatcher’ after taking away free school milk for children at infant school – were hard times for trade unions. The government abolished Burnham and teachers’ pay and conditions were imposed by the Secretary of State. In response, the NUT stepped up its campaigns, placing advertisements in newspapers, commissioning research and lobbying MPs. The Teacher became a magazine sent to all members from 1990, while five years later the Union’s website went online. The Union’s boycott of SATs from 1993

to 1995 won the end of league tables for seven-year-olds.

1998-2008 high hopes THE Union had high hopes when in 1997 Tony Blair’s New Labour was elected with “Education, Education, Education” as a main campaign slogan. However, despite investing heavily in schools, reducing class sizes and committing itself to ending child poverty, Labour continued the commercialisation of education, brought in the private finance initiative and developed foundation and specialist schools and city academies. Instead of restoring teachers’ negotiating rights, the government maintained the review body and entered into a workload agreement with other unions which the NUT could not accept. Relations with the government deteriorated, but this isolation left the NUT free to campaign in pursuit of other rights, including LGBT, black and young teachers, and to expand its international work, particularly in the Middle East, landmines, and child poverty. The reward was a rising membership at a time when many unions’ numbers were tumbling. The Union brought about results in Wales when in 2001 the Wales Assembly Government abolished league tables and

over the next few years replaced tests at Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 with teacher assessment. Sadly, in 2008 the Union was shaken by the tragic death of General Secretary Steve Sinnott, aged 56. His deputy, Christine Blower, became Acting General Secretary and led the Union into its first national strike for over 21 years on 24 April.

2009-present unity the pursuit of CHRISTINE campaigned tirelessly for teachers’ rights and professional unity, until 2016 when Kevin Courtney succeeded her. He continued Christine’s work towards a new union for all teachers and, in March 2017, members of the NUT and Association of Teachers and Lecturers voted to join together to form a new union – the National Education Union.

A bright future From September 1, the 464,705 members of the NEU will be a powerful voice for the whole education profession, wherever people work. And the rest, as they say, is history… July / August 17 | The Teacher

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les a W m o r f d r The wo Action on class sizes THE first big step forward in the Welsh Government’s plans to cut class sizes has been published. The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams AM, announced a £36m fund for both capital and revenue finance for projects to cut class sizes, open to bids from local authorities. NUT Cymru Secretary David Evans said: “This has been a major campaign for the NUT and we are grateful there has been a positive reaction.”

Award winners THREE members of NUT Cymru have been recognised and awarded for their hard work. Gillian Clist, Blaenau Gwent Divisional Secretary, and Clare Jones, Rhondda Cynon Taf Divisional Secretary, were given Officer of the Year awards. Dai Edwards was awarded School Representative of the Year for his work at Prestatyn High School.

AMANDA Brown, NUT Assistant General Secretary, has been elected onto the governing body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). This is the first time that a woman has been elected to this post from the UK trade union movement. The ILO, an agency of the UN, brings together governments, employers and workers’ representatives of 187 member states to promote rights at work, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues. Amanda said: “I am delighted and honoured to take on this role. The ILO is a unique international body, giving an equal voice to workers alongside employers and governments, to promote labour standards and rights at work. “It is no accident that greater levels of

Amanda Brown

respect for trade union rights go hand in hand with greater levels of equality and justice. The struggle we face is to ensure that ILO standards are made real for every worker in all countries of the world.”

ference TUC Women’s Con

All the fun of the festival

Workload a big issue THE first-ever survey of the whole of the teaching profession in Wales found that 78 per cent see workload as an issue. Eighty eight per cent stated they can’t cope with existing workload demands. The survey shows that teachers in Wales work on average over 50 hours a week and that a third of the profession want to leave in the next three years. NUT Cymru will support members in individual schools who feel that their workload is intolerable.

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July / August 17 | The Teacher

JUNE Vallely (pictured right) of the Disabled Teachers’ National Organising Forum (NOF) was a first-time delegate at the TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference in May. She volunteered to speak on a motion about disabled performers and, despite some dread, was pleased that she did: “As a performer and a teacher, I’m used to standing in front of people to deliver a performance or to instruct. However, nothing could have prepared me for the stomach-churning sensation and dread I felt at the thought of delivering my speech at the conference, which was attended by more than 150 delegates. “I volunteered, albeit tentatively, to speak on behalf of the NUT on the Musicians Union’s motion 10 about disabled performers. “Desperately trying to channel my inner Hollywood star, I was glad I did! Or at least that’s how I felt after it was over. I had just three minutes to speak but, in those minutes, I was sharing some of my experiences as a disabled performer with people who understood exactly what I was talking about. “They didn’t see me as someone vulnerable, or in need of care, but as I saw myself – a determined and feisty woman who happens to use a mobility scooter and won’t be stopped from doing the things she loves because the stage doesn’t have a ramp or the theatre isn’t wheelchair or mobility scooter-accessible. “I would thoroughly recommend that any member with a physical or mental health condition apply to become a delegate next year. It’s a safe space in which to share your experiences and air your views with supportive and like-minded people.”

Feeling empowered PAULETTE Watson (below) attended the TUC Black Workers Conference as a delegate for the first time this year. Here she describes how she felt empowered by the different speakers. “I had the opportunity to be among the most dedicated, hard-working, committed and empowering people at the conference. It brought together Black workers who created a synergy of different talents – I was truly amazed! “We heard

NUT Cymru had a stall at the week-long Urdd Eisteddfod, the largest youth festival in Europe. The Union was joined by Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC). A drawing competition drew in over 100 entries, with Rhiannon Hughes from Caerphilly the overall winner, while Beca Jones from Ysgol Gyfun Garth Olwg managed an impressive 82 in SRtRC’s Keepie Uppie competition.

I ATTENDED this year’s TUC Women’s Conference as part of a delegation from the Union. Four of us were attending for the first time and it was an honour to be in the company of such a diverse group of powerful women. We heard some extraordinary stories supporting the motions we discussed. It was a joy to hear guests talk about the Women Chain Makers and there was anger at the racial abuse suffered by migrant women, which has increased since the Brexit vote.

We heard of many incidents of abuse and prejudice faced by women throughout society. As we left to head back to our regions and divisions, we were fired up for the fight ahead. Together we are stronger and can make a real difference. I would encourage any woman who hasn’t attended to go next year. Contact your regional office and let them know you’re interested. You’ll be inspired! Jenny Ermos, Midlands NUT, first-time delegate

ef News in bri

representatives from health care, retail, transportation and the entertainment industry, to name a few. I was able to see the challenges they had encountered in their workplace and how determined they were to make improvements. “The more each person went up to move a motion on a particular topic, the more empowered I felt. “So, when my turn came to speak on motion 5 – Brexit and the rise in hate crime – my voice didn’t break and my hands didn’t shake. I called on the conference to form alliances with progressive organisations to tackle the rise of racially and religiously aggravated crime. “I highlighted the narrative created by the Leave EU campaign and how it had legitimised racist feelings. I mentioned a rise in Islamaphobia among our students. Although this increase in Newham has been undercover, it is now more blatant. Together we need to stamp it out! “I have learned a lot from my first TUC conference. There were highs and lows but the support and encouragement I got is evidence that we can make changes now.”

Paper P60s only when requested PAPER copies of pensioners’ P60 forms will no longer be sent out automatically from the 2016-17 tax year. The end-of-year statement will be available from the Teachers’ Pensions Scheme on request and should be sent automatically to members aged 80 and over. Those with dependent pensions will also continue to receive paper copies. Members can sign up to access P60s and other information at teacherspensions.co.uk/public/ login.aspx

Your union

n o i n Your UILO post ‘an honour’

rkers TUC Disabled Wo June channels her inner Hollywood star

October convention for retired teachers THIS year’s Retired Teachers’ Convention will be held on Tuesday, 17 October. More details will be publicised nearer the time at teachers.org.uk/members-reps/ retired-teachers – and in the Teacher.

Pension changes ELIGIBILITY for an unmarried partner’s pension following their death will be based on specific criteria rather than whether or not they had filled in a nomination form, the NUT has agreed. The move follows a Supreme Court ruling in February that the requirement within the regulations of the Local Government Pension Scheme of Northern Ireland for unmarried partners to sign a nomination form was unlawful. Eligibility will now be based on whether the relationship was current, had lasted two or more years and that there was financial interdependence at the time of the person’s death. The DfE has confirmed that it has discontinued the requirement for a nomination form. It is also taking legal advice on whether retrospective payments should be made to people who would now have qualified. A nomination is still required for death grants otherwise the grant goes to the estate. Visit gov.uk/death-spousebenefits-tax-pension

July / August 17 | The Teacher

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ef News in bri

JUNE Vallely (pictured right) of the Disabled Teachers’ National Organising Forum (NOF) was a first-time delegate at the TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference in May. She volunteered to speak on a motion about disabled performers and, despite some dread, was pleased that she did: “As a performer and a teacher, I’m used to standing in front of people to deliver a performance or to instruct. However, nothing could have prepared me for the stomach-churning sensation and dread I felt at the thought of delivering my speech at the conference, which was attended by more than 150 delegates. “I volunteered, albeit tentatively, to speak on behalf of the NUT on the Musicians Union’s motion 10 about disabled performers. “Desperately trying to channel my inner Hollywood star, I was glad I did! Or at least that’s how I felt after it was over. I had just three minutes to speak but, in those minutes, I was sharing some of my experiences as a disabled performer with people who understood exactly what I was talking about. “They didn’t see me as someone vulnerable, or in need of care, but as I saw myself – a determined and feisty woman who happens to use a mobility scooter and won’t be stopped from doing the things she loves because the stage doesn’t have a ramp or the theatre isn’t wheelchair or mobility scooter-accessible. “I would thoroughly recommend that any member with a physical or mental health condition apply to become a delegate next year. It’s a safe space in which to share your experiences and air your views with supportive and like-minded people.”

Feeling empowered PAULETTE Watson (below, bottom line, second left) attended the TUC Black Workers Conference as a delegate for the first time this year. Here she describes how she felt empowered by the different speakers. “I had the opportunity to be among the most dedicated, hard-working, committed and empowering people at the conference. It brought together Black workers who created a synergy of different talents – I was truly amazed! “We heard representatives from health care, retail, transportation and the entertainment industry, to name a few. I was able to see the challenges they had encountered in their workplace and how determined they were to make improvements. “The more each person went up to

move a motion on a particular topic, the more empowered I felt. “So, when my turn came to speak on motion 5 – Brexit and the rise in hate crime – my voice didn’t break and my hands didn’t shake. I called on the conference to form alliances with progressive organisations to tackle the rise of racially and religiously aggravated crime. “I highlighted the narrative created by the Leave EU campaign and how it had legitimised racist feelings. I mentioned a rise in Islamaphobia among our students. Although this increase in Newham has been undercover, it is now more blatant. Together we need to stamp it out! “I have learned a lot from my first TUC conference. There were highs and lows but the support and encouragement I got is evidence that we can make changes now.”

Paper P60s only when requested PAPER copies of pensioners’ P60 forms will no longer be sent out automatically from the 2016-17 tax year. The end-of-year statement will be available from the Teachers’ Pensions Scheme on request and should be sent automatically to members aged 80 and over. Those with dependent pensions will also continue to receive paper copies. Members can sign up to access P60s and other information at teacherspensions.co.uk/public/ login.aspx

Your union

rkers TUC Disabled Wo June channels her inner Hollywood star

October convention for retired teachers THIS year’s Retired Teachers’ Convention will be held on Tuesday, 17 October. More details will be publicised nearer the time at teachers.org.uk/members-reps/ retired-teachers – and in the Teacher.

Pension changes ELIGIBILITY for an unmarried partner’s pension following their death will be based on specific criteria rather than whether or not they had filled in a nomination form, the NUT has agreed. The move follows a Supreme Court ruling in February that the requirement within the regulations of the Local Government Pension Scheme of Northern Ireland for unmarried partners to sign a nomination form was unlawful. Eligibility will now be based on whether the relationship was current, had lasted two or more years and that there was financial interdependence at the time of the person’s death. The DfE has confirmed that it has discontinued the requirement for a nomination form. It is also taking legal advice on whether retrospective payments should be made to people who would now have qualified. A nomination is still required for death grants otherwise the grant goes to the estate. Visit gov.uk/death-spousebenefits-tax-pension

July / August 17 | The Teacher

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lp a colleague s e h to w o h , s for teacher her resource Midday dutiesre, and ownership of teac under pressu to the consultation – there is strength in numbers and, if enough of you don’t want to do this, it can be stopped. If you are employed under terms and conditions other than STPCD, you should refer to your staff handbook or contract and find out whether there is any reference to midday supervision before seeking further NUT advice.

Q

My work colleague has become very distressed about bullying and harassment by her head teacher. She’s been signed off by her GP and can’t understand how she has got in this state. She always thought of herself as a strong person but, when I call her, she cries and finds it hard to compose herself. What can I do to help her?

A

Q

Due to budget cuts, my school has decided teachers should take over the midday duties, monitoring and supervising lunches and the playground. A rota has already been drawn up. I am against it – I do not wish to take the job away from the lowest paid of my co-workers, I do not want to supervise children at lunchtime and I need a break! No-one is in favour of this, but threats of job losses are making us feel we have no choice. What should we do?

A 38

Under the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD), no teacher can be required to undertake midday supervision.

July / August 17 | The Teacher

The STPCD [section 2, paragraph 53.2] states: “No teacher may be required under their contract of employment as a teacher to undertake midday supervision.” Such duties cannot be imposed on you. You can refuse to do midday supervision without being in breach of your contract of employment (assuming you are employed under STPCD terms). Any teacher who does volunteer to do so is entitled to a free school meal under the long-standing School Meals Agreement. It is advisable and more effective if opposition is organised collectively involving all teachers at your school. Speak to your school rep and ask them to organise a meeting of staff. If you don’t have a rep, organise it yourself. Discuss a collective response

The support you are giving your colleague is important – lending a sympathetic ear to a friend at a time of crisis can be vital. In the first instance, she should contact her school rep and tell them about the harassment she is facing. The most effective way to stop bullying at work is for members to work together to stop it. Her school rep should be able to suggest ways to do that. If there is no school rep, she should contact her division/ association instead. Most schools should also have a health and safety rep. The Union believes that every teacher has the right to a safe workplace and that includes one free from bullying and harassment. We have produced the NUT Mental Health Charter (see opposite) which outlines your rights and employers’ responsibilities. More immediately, the Union also works with the Education Support Partnership, which offers a 24-hour counselling helpline. There are professionals on hand to help your friend and talk through the anxiety and upset she is feeling. Teachers often work in a high-pressure environment, working long hours,

Q A

Ask the union Title bar

n o i n U e h t k As

subjected to performance-related pay, with constant demands for data to feed excessive assessment regimes. And things can happen in life that can knock the strongest of people. The best way to stop the bullies is to take action together to make sure they don’t get away with it. What are intellectual property rights? Can I sell resources that I have made? When I leave the school can they keep my resources?

This refers to the acquisition of ownership over intellectual property. Any resources you produce, or that you are asked to produce in order to use as part of your employment, will be the property of your employer. This means that, even if you do something on a Sunday evening at home and on your own laptop, the employer (i.e. the governing body, academy trust or local authority) will still own the intellectual property rights. If you sell the resources when you are not authorised to do so, you could face disciplinary action and the school could ask for any money that you have made. When you leave a school, you could be asked to hand over all the resources that you have produced during the course of your employment. Therefore, if you wish to create resources outside the course of your employment, during your own time and using your own resources, make sure your head teacher understands that the resources belong to you. Ask them to confirm that understanding in writing and in advance of any misunderstandings that may arise.

Got something to ask? Send your questions to us at teacher@nut.org.uk with Ask the Union in the subject line. Contact the NUT AdviceLine on 020 3006 6266 or email nutadviceline@nut.org.uk Members in Wales should contact NUT Cymru on 029 2049 1818 or email cymru. wales@nut.org.uk

NUT Mental Health Charter WORKING practices in schools are either causing or contributing to the mental ill-health of teachers, according to the Union’s latest workload survey. The TUC’s 2016 Equality Audit found that 65 per cent of all casework undertaken by reps revolved around sickness absence arising from mental ill-heath such as chronic stress, anxiety and depression. To help combat this, the Union has devised a Mental Health Charter to help teachers cope with the demands of the profession. Calls to the NUT Adviceline clearly identify the workplace triggers which give rise to mental ill-health. They are, among other things, excessive workload, bullying and discrimination, mishandled formal procedures and failings of management and governance. The charter is an attempt to: n put the focus on the workplace, not the worker; n challenge employers to develop healthy workplaces and monitor progress; n make the promotion of good mental health at work a health and safety issue; and n promote a collective approach when dealing with unhealthy or dysfunctional workplaces. The charter contains six principles, intended to mirror the Health & Safety Executive’s stress management standards:

1

A safe workplace – free from violence, harassment and bullying, where everyone is treated with dignity and staff are protected from unreasonable external pressure.

2

Support from colleagues and managers – to make sure the contribution of everyone is valued and colleagues feel supported and also support each other.

3 4

Fair and equal treatment – encouraging schools to be aware of conscious and unconscious bias in decision making.

Clear procedures, roles and responsibilities – encouraging managers to ensure that workers have a clear understanding of their roles and of what is expected of them; that there is a culture of consultation and engagement and a healthy respect for professional autonomy.

5

Personal and social time – emphasises the importance of ensuring that staff have access to appropriate social spaces at work (eg staff rooms), proper breaks and a genuine work/life balance and flexible working is an intrinsic part of the school culture.

6

Stress risk assessments – ensure that stress and well-being are routinely monitored and that school and college leaders build processes which assist in the detection of individual and organisational stress. Find out more about the charter and how to promote it in your workplace by visiting teachers.org.uk/help-and-advice/health-and-safety/ mental-health-charter

July / August 17 | The Teacher

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lp a colleague s e h to w o h , s for teacher her resource Midday dutiesre, and ownership of teac under pressu to the consultation – there is strength in numbers and, if enough of you don’t want to do this, it can be stopped. If you are employed under terms and conditions other than STPCD, you should refer to your staff handbook or contract and find out whether there is any reference to midday supervision before seeking further NUT advice.

Q

My work colleague has become very distressed about bullying and harassment by her head teacher. She’s been signed off by her GP and can’t understand how she has got in this state. She always thought of herself as a strong person but, when I call her, she cries and finds it hard to compose herself. What can I do to help her?

A

Q

Due to budget cuts, my school has decided teachers should take over the midday duties, monitoring and supervising lunches and the playground. A rota has already been drawn up. I am against it – I do not wish to take the job away from the lowest paid of my co-workers, I do not want to supervise children at lunchtime and I need a break! No-one is in favour of this, but threats of job losses are making us feel we have no choice. What should we do?

A 38

Under the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD), no teacher can be required to undertake midday supervision.

July / August 17 | The Teacher

The STPCD [section 2, paragraph 53.2] states: “No teacher may be required under their contract of employment as a teacher to undertake midday supervision.” Such duties cannot be imposed on you. You can refuse to do midday supervision without being in breach of your contract of employment (assuming you are employed under STPCD terms). Any teacher who does volunteer to do so is entitled to a free school meal under the long-standing School Meals Agreement. It is advisable and more effective if opposition is organised collectively involving all teachers at your school. Speak to your school rep and ask them to organise a meeting of staff. If you don’t have a rep, organise it yourself. Discuss a collective response

The support you are giving your colleague is important – lending a sympathetic ear to a friend at a time of crisis can be vital. In the first instance, she should contact her school rep and tell them about the harassment she is facing. The most effective way to stop bullying at work is for members to work together to stop it. Her school rep should be able to suggest ways to do that. If there is no school rep, she should contact her division/ association instead. Most schools should also have a health and safety rep. The Union believes that every teacher has the right to a safe workplace and that includes one free from bullying and harassment. We have produced the NUT Mental Health Charter (see opposite) which outlines your rights and employers’ responsibilities. More immediately, the Union also works with the Education Support Partnership, which offers a 24-hour counselling helpline. There are professionals on hand to help your friend and talk through the anxiety and upset she is feeling. Teachers often work in a high-pressure environment, working long hours,

Q A

Ask the union Title bar

n o i n U e h t k As

subjected to performance-related pay, with constant demands for data to feed excessive assessment regimes. And things can happen in life that can knock the strongest of people. The best way to stop the bullies is to take action together to make sure they don’t get away with it. What are intellectual property rights? Can I sell resources that I have made? When I leave the school can they keep my resources?

This refers to the acquisition of ownership over intellectual property. Any resources you produce, or that you are asked to produce in order to use as part of your employment, will be the property of your employer. This means that, even if you do something on a Sunday evening at home and on your own laptop, the employer (i.e. the governing body, academy trust or local authority) will still own the intellectual property rights. If you sell the resources when you are not authorised to do so, you could face disciplinary action and the school could ask for any money that you have made. When you leave a school, you could be asked to hand over all the resources that you have produced during the course of your employment. Therefore, if you wish to create resources outside the course of your employment, during your own time and using your own resources, make sure your head teacher understands that the resources belong to you. Ask them to confirm that understanding in writing and in advance of any misunderstandings that may arise.

Got something to ask? Send your questions to us at teacher@nut.org.uk with Ask the Union in the subject line. Contact the NUT AdviceLine on 020 3006 6266 or email nutadviceline@nut.org.uk Members in Wales should contact NUT Cymru on 029 2049 1818 or email cymru. wales@nut.org.uk

NUT Mental Health Charter WORKING practices in schools are either causing or contributing to the mental ill-health of teachers, according to the Union’s latest workload survey. The TUC’s 2016 Equality Audit found that 65 per cent of all casework undertaken by reps revolved around sickness absence arising from mental ill-heath such as chronic stress, anxiety and depression. To help combat this, the Union has devised a Mental Health Charter to help teachers cope with the demands of the profession. Calls to the NUT Adviceline clearly identify the workplace triggers which give rise to mental ill-health. They are, among other things, excessive workload, bullying and discrimination, mishandled formal procedures and failings of management and governance. The charter is an attempt to: n put the focus on the workplace, not the worker; n challenge employers to develop healthy workplaces and monitor progress; n make the promotion of good mental health at work a health and safety issue; and n promote a collective approach when dealing with unhealthy or dysfunctional workplaces. The charter contains six principles, intended to mirror the Health & Safety Executive’s stress management standards:

1

A safe workplace – free from violence, harassment and bullying, where everyone is treated with dignity and staff are protected from unreasonable external pressure.

2

Support from colleagues and managers – to make sure the contribution of everyone is valued and colleagues feel supported and also support each other.

3 4

Fair and equal treatment – encouraging schools to be aware of conscious and unconscious bias in decision making.

Clear procedures, roles and responsibilities – encouraging managers to ensure that workers have a clear understanding of their roles and of what is expected of them; that there is a culture of consultation and engagement and a healthy respect for professional autonomy.

5

Personal and social time – emphasises the importance of ensuring that staff have access to appropriate social spaces at work (eg staff rooms), proper breaks and a genuine work/life balance and flexible working is an intrinsic part of the school culture.

6

Stress risk assessments – ensure that stress and well-being are routinely monitored and that school and college leaders build processes which assist in the detection of individual and organisational stress. Find out more about the charter and how to promote it in your workplace by visiting teachers.org.uk/help-and-advice/health-and-safety/ mental-health-charter

July / August 17 | The Teacher

39


Star letter

s r e t t Le

Letters Title bar

Pleasing praise for school cuts campaign

Bring it on! WHEN Theresa May surprised the nation by calling a snap election, the reaction from Camden NUT members was: “Bring it on!” Before the election had been called, we were already organising street stalls, campaigning alongside the Fair Funding for All Schools network. This gave us an opportunity to talk to the public – we knew that people were much more concerned with public services (the NHS, housing and education) than Brexit and immigration. As soon as the election was called, we started organising on our WhatsApp group, setting up a series of street stalls with emphasis in the marginal seat of Hampstead and Kilburn. We were received enthusiastically by the public. Whatever number of leaflets we brought would disappear from our hands. Despite not clearly stating whom people should vote for, everyone was clear what they had to do if they wanted an end to cuts in school funding. Now it’s over, we are not resting on our laurels – the campaign for Fair Funding for All Schools continues. We had a Big School Assembly on 4 July and look forward to the march on Sunday, 16 July. I hope we can continue to put pressure on the Government to stop the cuts and get fair funding for all our schools. Orlando Hill, economics teacher, Camden School for Girls

40

July / August 17 | The Teacher

Protestors at the Big School Assembly in Tower Hamlets

Thank goodness for our guards

Councils must locate asbestos in schools

I AGREE wholeheartedly with Jackie Baker’s letter, ‘Kids need a guard on the train’ (the Teacher May/June). I live in the north of England and commute on Northern Rail every day. The service is jam-packed, with hordes of people squashed together. I get off before the final stop and it can be challenging as I squeeze through the myriad of people blocking the aisles and the doors. Thank goodness we have a guard! It is the guard who has to stand firm and stop the extra commuters piling onto the overcrowded train. Without him or her, too many people would board and it would be pandemonium! We, like our southern friends, have started having strikes and, as inconvenient as they are, I totally agree with them. As an adult, I wouldn’t feel safe without a guard, so goodness knows how a child would feel squashed on a train without any support? Without a guard, our trains would be even more of a safety hazard. I hope this issue is resolved soon and we keep guards on the train. Name and address supplied

I FIRST became aware of the dangers of asbestos through the Sunday Times in 1967. The paper had a series of articles about the high death rate of people who lived in Derbyshire, close to a factory that used asbestos in the manufacture of its products. At the time, I was an emigrant to Canada and worked as an electrician. There were new buildings in the centre of Calgary that were sprayed with asbestos mixed with adhesive to form a fire barrier. All trades worked in this atmosphere,

THE NUT-led campaign against school cuts has received universal praise. But perhaps the most pleasing has come in the form of ex-Tory MPs crediting it for hastening their demise. On BBC Panorama on 12 June, former Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell mentioned a conversation with a teacher who had lost confidence in him as being a key moment, when he knew he was in trouble.

which sometimes was very dusty. I brought the asbestos situation to the attention of my union – and I know of one job in Vancouver that was stopped until better safety measures were used. Some of our schools will have asbestos in their structures. Dust can fall onto the upper side of ceiling tiles and be shaken loose by any vibration. If this dust contains white asbestos, it is deadly. I urge the union to try to get local councils to locate asbestos in schools and oversee any work being done that may disturb it. Work should only be done when staff and pupils are not in school, in the middle of the holidays with a week to make sure the area is clear and certified. Anyone’s life cut short by this is a waste and we should try our very best to stop this happening. David Lloyd-Jones, retired member

The local Labour Party made use of the figures from the schoolcuts.org website to produce ward-specific leaflets citing how much each school stood to lose by 2020. On one occasion, I returned home from an NUT meeting to find a Vote for Education leaflet through my door – I still don’t know who delivered it! This national campaign has made a real impact in communities

TA news is no surprise YOUR News in Brief item ‘TAs act as supply’ (the Teacher May/ June) seemed to suggest – surprise, surprise – that three quarters of classroom assistants have had to step in to deliver lessons because of teacher shortages. In the academy where I work, it is perfectly normal to use TAs when teachers are sick or on courses – sometimes for days at a time. They are not really delivering lessons (nor are they paid a higher rate). Senior managers know they are saving a lot of money (despite parents and even pupils complaining that they ‘want a teacher’). D Parker, London

and can provide a springboard for us to go on and win decent funding for schools. As for Mr Barwell, in 2015, he said if he lost his seat he would become a teacher. Instead he has become Theresa May’s chief of staff, a role which may give him an insight into the precarious job security faced by many supply teachers! Joe Flynn Croydon

The editor welcomes your letters but reserves the right to edit them. Write to: Your letters, The Teacher, NUT, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD or email teacher@nut.org.uk. We cannot print letters sent in without name and postal address (or NUT membership number), although we can withhold details from publication if you wish. Letters for the September/ October issue should reach us no later than 31 July.

July / August 17 | The Teacher

41


Star letter

s r e t t Le

Letters Title bar

Pleasing praise for school cuts campaign

Bring it on! WHEN Theresa May surprised the nation by calling a snap election, the reaction from Camden NUT members was: “Bring it on!” Before the election had been called, we were already organising street stalls, campaigning alongside the Fair Funding for All Schools network. This gave us an opportunity to talk to the public – we knew that people were much more concerned with public services (the NHS, housing and education) than Brexit and immigration. As soon as the election was called, we started organising on our WhatsApp group, setting up a series of street stalls with emphasis in the marginal seat of Hampstead and Kilburn. We were received enthusiastically by the public. Whatever number of leaflets we brought would disappear from our hands. Despite not clearly stating whom people should vote for, everyone was clear what they had to do if they wanted an end to cuts in school funding. Now it’s over, we are not resting on our laurels – the campaign for Fair Funding for All Schools continues. We had a Big School Assembly on 4 July and look forward to the march on Sunday, 16 July. I hope we can continue to put pressure on the Government to stop the cuts and get fair funding for all our schools. Orlando Hill, economics teacher, Camden School for Girls

40

July / August 17 | The Teacher

Protestors at the Big School Assembly in Tower Hamlets

Thank goodness for our guards

Councils must locate asbestos in schools

I AGREE wholeheartedly with Jackie Baker’s letter, ‘Kids need a guard on the train’ (the Teacher May/June). I live in the north of England and commute on Northern Rail every day. The service is jam-packed, with hordes of people squashed together. I get off before the final stop and it can be challenging as I squeeze through the myriad of people blocking the aisles and the doors. Thank goodness we have a guard! It is the guard who has to stand firm and stop the extra commuters piling onto the overcrowded train. Without him or her, too many people would board and it would be pandemonium! We, like our southern friends, have started having strikes and, as inconvenient as they are, I totally agree with them. As an adult, I wouldn’t feel safe without a guard, so goodness knows how a child would feel squashed on a train without any support? Without a guard, our trains would be even more of a safety hazard. I hope this issue is resolved soon and we keep guards on the train. Name and address supplied

I FIRST became aware of the dangers of asbestos through the Sunday Times in 1967. The paper had a series of articles about the high death rate of people who lived in Derbyshire, close to a factory that used asbestos in the manufacture of its products. At the time, I was an emigrant to Canada and worked as an electrician. There were new buildings in the centre of Calgary that were sprayed with asbestos mixed with adhesive to form a fire barrier. All trades worked in this atmosphere,

THE NUT-led campaign against school cuts has received universal praise. But perhaps the most pleasing has come in the form of ex-Tory MPs crediting it for hastening their demise. On BBC Panorama on 12 June, former Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell mentioned a conversation with a teacher who had lost confidence in him as being a key moment, when he knew he was in trouble.

which sometimes was very dusty. I brought the asbestos situation to the attention of my union – and I know of one job in Vancouver that was stopped until better safety measures were used. Some of our schools will have asbestos in their structures. Dust can fall onto the upper side of ceiling tiles and be shaken loose by any vibration. If this dust contains white asbestos, it is deadly. I urge the union to try to get local councils to locate asbestos in schools and oversee any work being done that may disturb it. Work should only be done when staff and pupils are not in school, in the middle of the holidays with a week to make sure the area is clear and certified. Anyone’s life cut short by this is a waste and we should try our very best to stop this happening. David Lloyd-Jones, retired member

The local Labour Party made use of the figures from the schoolcuts.org website to produce ward-specific leaflets citing how much each school stood to lose by 2020. On one occasion, I returned home from an NUT meeting to find a Vote for Education leaflet through my door – I still don’t know who delivered it! This national campaign has made a real impact in communities

TA news is no surprise YOUR News in Brief item ‘TAs act as supply’ (the Teacher May/ June) seemed to suggest – surprise, surprise – that three quarters of classroom assistants have had to step in to deliver lessons because of teacher shortages. In the academy where I work, it is perfectly normal to use TAs when teachers are sick or on courses – sometimes for days at a time. They are not really delivering lessons (nor are they paid a higher rate). Senior managers know they are saving a lot of money (despite parents and even pupils complaining that they ‘want a teacher’). D Parker, London

and can provide a springboard for us to go on and win decent funding for schools. As for Mr Barwell, in 2015, he said if he lost his seat he would become a teacher. Instead he has become Theresa May’s chief of staff, a role which may give him an insight into the precarious job security faced by many supply teachers! Joe Flynn Croydon

The editor welcomes your letters but reserves the right to edit them. Write to: Your letters, The Teacher, NUT, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD or email teacher@nut.org.uk. We cannot print letters sent in without name and postal address (or NUT membership number), although we can withhold details from publication if you wish. Letters for the September/ October issue should reach us no later than 31 July.

July / August 17 | The Teacher

41


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49 43


GET YOUR SCHOOL IN JEANS! fri 22 sept Elvi,15, has rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctate. She has severe learning difficulties and can only speak 50 words. She has shortened limbs, cataracts and is confined to a wheelchair.

ORGANISE A JEANS FOR GENES DAY ON FRIDAY 22ND SEPT Bring your school together at the beginning of the new school year in aid of a wonderful cause and help raise vital funds to support children with life-altering genetic disorders. 500,000 children in the UK are affected by a genetic disorder. By encouraging your school to wear jeans and make a donation, you will be doing something amazing for these children.

SIGN UP FOR YOUR FREE FUNDRAISING PACK JEANSFORGENES.ORG Jeans for Genes ® and ™, © 2017 Genetic Disorders UK. Registered Charity Number 1141583. J4G1718.


International

l a n o i t a n r e Int

Walls, towers and razor wire Over February half term, an NUT delegation visited the West Bank, Palestine, to build on the Union’s work on education in conflict zones. Dave Winters, from Croydon Division, joined the group and wrote this personal account for the Teacher. THE visit programme was arranged with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and the General Union of Palestinian Teachers (GUPT). We met teachers, students and activists from a range of organisations, visited schools and toured Israeli settlements (which are illegal under international law) and Palestinian refugee camps. We also met officials of the Palestinian Authority, representatives of political parties and Israeli activists opposed to the policies of their government, and were given presentations by international bodies, including the UN and Defence for Children International (DCI).

Shocking degradation I was horrified at the means by which the Israeli military controls the Palestinian civilian population. Added to walls, towers and razor wire were weapons, checkpoints, permits, travel restrictions, curfews and prison. We heard first-hand stories of young conscript Israeli soldiers casually using abuse, obstruction and harassment to humiliate and degrade Palestinians of all ages, causing them real and serious anxiety. At times, the level of brutality is stepped up. In 2016 alone, 112 Palestinians were killed, the majority shot dead by Israeli forces; 14 of them were children. During the same period, 15 Israelis were killed by Palestinians. We came away convinced of the need for a renewed peace process.

The shocking death toll of Palestinian children in 2014

Child prisoners We had considerable concerns about the treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system. This has recently been investigated by the UN, the DCI and a team of British lawyers. Night-time arrest, blindfolding, beatings and interrogation without the presence of lawyers are often the start of the process. Several independent international reports document widespread incidence of false allegations, forced confessions, no bail and trial before military judges. Sentences are harsh and young Palestinian prison inmates receive little education, no counselling and limited recreational opportunities. Israeli illegal settlers are subject to the civil rather than the military detention system. Prosecution is rare and if imprisoned, they receive better treatment.

Settlement expansion In defiance of International Law, 140 illegal settlements and 97 unauthorised settler outposts have been established on Palestinian land. The existence of the settlements and the programme for their expansion in East Jerusalem are abhorrent to Palestinians. They are symbols of unequal rights,

perpetual occupation and conflict, and barriers to peace in the region.

Everyday pressures I found the testimonies of individual Palestinians profound and staggering in their emotional power. A young Palestinian female student spoke of the relentless pressures under which Palestinians live their daily lives. Her dream of Palestinian statehood with full autonomy was enthralling, as was her commitment to a non-violent search for a peace settlement. The courage, principles and fortitude of the Palestinians is truly something to behold. Their unwillingness to bow and their determination to establish a state based on equality, justice and freedom will prevail. The support and encouragement provided by the NUT is highly valued.

es Teaching resourc The Union has a number of teaching resources available on international issues – go to teachers.org.uk/campaigns/ international/resources

July / August 17 | The Teacher

45


There’s nothing ‘cute’ about the puppy trade. Help FOUR PAWS end this cruel and ruthless trade by giving just £3 today.

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TIME to Change has kicked off a four-year campaign to encourage young people to be more open about mental health. With one in ten young people developing a mental health problem each year, the campaign – run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness – is asking friends to “step in” to support their mates. Visit time-to-change.org.uk

s Anti-racism award ENGLAND football manager Gareth Southgate was guest of honour at the Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) School Competition 2017 awards ceremony. He presented prizes to children from more than 20 award-winning schools during the event, held at Leicester City FC’s stadium and hosted by BBC sports presenter Manish Bhasin. The competition encourages pupils to create their own anti-racism messages in a variety of formats, including artwork, creative writing and film. Winners included South Stanley Infants School from County Durham, which received the first Graham Taylor OBE Memorial Award. The prize was commissioned in memory of the late Watford and England manager, who died earlier this year and who was patron of the SRtRC charity.

Seeing the light PINHOLE photographer and NUT member Justin Quinnell has written a book on the subject. Discovering Light provides affordable activities for teachers, parents and anyone interested in photography – including how to make a six-month exposure pinhole camera for 50p and a digital projector for £1. The book is a result of Quinnell’s 25-year career teaching science, photography and art. Visit millgatehouse.co.uk/product/ discoveringlight/

Another special prize – the Jo Cox Memorial Award – was presented to Elmwood Infant School in Croydon. The Jo Cox Foundation, launched in memory of the murdered MP, supports the competition’s theme of equality and togetherness. Show Racism the Red Card is an anti-

Title bar Noticeboard

d r a o b e c i t o N

Tour Battlefields

THE First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours programme, designed for KS3 students, is offering free tours to a variety of historic sites, including battlefields, memorials, cemeteries and museums. Available to all state secondary and middle schools, the tours give one teacher and two students from each participating school an insight into the lives and experiences of those who fought in the Great War. Visit centenarybattlefield tours.org/english/ racism charity that uses professional footballers as role models to educate young people about the dangers of racism in football and society. Thousands of children entered the 2017 competition, which is supported by the NUT. For more information, visit srtrc.org

England football manager Gareth Southgate with Elmwood Infant School pupils, winners of the Jo Cox Memorial Award

FOUR out of five children feel that social media companies aren’t doing enough to protect them from pornography, self-harm, bullying and hatred on their sites, research by the NSPCC and O2 has found. Net Aware is a parents’ go-to guide of the most popular social media sites, apps and games that kids use and gives advice on keeping your child safe in the digital world. It’s free to view at net-aware.org. uk or to download as an app.

July / August 17 | The Teacher

47


Cut her free from sexual exploitation

Help cut children free from sexual exploitation. Be aware of the signs. www.barnardos.org.uk/ cutthemfree

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Reviews

s w e i Rev For pupils

The Boy Who Went Magic Ben and the Spider Prince Amma, Tell Me How Hanuman Crossed A MAGICAL, actionA LOVELY sequel to Ben packed fantasy for and the Spider Gate, this the Ocean!

readers to escape into. When schoolboy Bert’s dull life spirals out of control, girl adventurer Finch comes to his rescue. Together they set off on a mission to find the forgotten land of Ferenor, where magic resides. Themes of friendship and discovery are explored in this thrilling adventure. By Aliss Langridge The Boy Who Went Magic by A P Winter. Chicken House. Paperback. £6.99.

follows the adventures of a boy whose Gran teaches him a rhyme that allows him to shrink to spider size. He then heads off on an adventure to help save the spiders’ prince. A short chapter book for KS2 readers, this is a satisfying story encouraging empathy for this much-maligned species. With themes of family, friendship and the passing on of wisdom and knowledge, this book will appeal to girls and boys alike. By Elli Rhodes Ben and the Spider Prince by Angela Fish. The Book Guild. Paperback. £9.95.

s For teacher

Distress in the city: racism, A practical guide to fundamentalism and a nature-based practice democratic education THIS book encourages PROFOUND, provoking and powerful, this book is written in an academic but engaging style. Psychology and sociology bring their own disciplines in this analysis of civic values and religious stereotyping, including fundamentalism in relation to post-industrial and mental distress. A coherent argument and discussion of a complex subject. By Len Parkyn Distress in the city: racism, fundamentalism and a democratic education by Linden West. UCL Institute of Education Press. Paperback. £24.99.

adults to provide exciting learning environments outdoors. Using a nature-based practice approach, the author’s research reveals how natural settings offer opportunities for children to become confident, adventurous risk-takers. Whether it is toasting marshmallows, wading through water or mud, or using tools to saw their own wood, children have the freedom to explore wild, open spaces and enrich their learning. Providing ten case studies, interviews with practitioners and stunning photographs, this book demonstrates the value of nature-based learning and how it can be implemented. By Cindy Shanks

PART two in the Hanuman Trilogy and Bhakti Mathur brings to life the Hindu story of Hanuman’s quest to rescue Rama’s wife, Sita, who has been kidnapped. Having lost his powers, Hanuman has to find faith and courage to overcome many challenges – including crossing the ocean and facing dangerous enemies. Written in verse with vivid illustrations, this book can be used at either KS1 or lower KS2 for subjects such as RE, SEALS, art and English. By Cindy Shanks Amma, Tell Me How Hanuman Crossed the Ocean! by Bhakti Mathur. Illustrated by Maulshree Somani. Anjana Publishing. Paperback. £9.50.

101 inclusive and SEN maths lessons DEVELOPED by teachers with extensive experience of working with children with additional needs, this handy book has clear, well-planned activities to support mathematical knowledge and understanding. Each activity is split into teaching sections, with advice on pitch, resources and additional activities. There are also ideas for consolidation and links to P Scales objectives. The emphasis of activities is on fun and creativity in order to appeal to children working towards the National Curriculum. By Sian Collinson 101 inclusive & SEN maths lessons by Claire Brewer & Kate Bradley. Jessica Kingsley. Paperback. £14.99.

A practical guide to nature-based practice by Niki Buchan. Bloomsbury. Paperback. £19.99.

July / August 17 | The Teacher

49


Backbeat

Calm amidst the chaos With the terror attacks in Manchester and London Bridge, and the horror of Grenfell Tower, children are watching tragedy and violence played out on the TV and social media. In this issue, we have discussed how teachers can react to this reality. Educator Dr Aminul Hoque gives his view. I STILL recall a conversation with my daughter during the winter of 2015. We had booked a dream vacation to EuroDisney. But, in the aftermath of the Paris terror, she was reluctant to go and meet Mickey, Minnie and co. She was scared. You will be really hard pressed to find any British-Western six-year-old who would not want to go to EuroDisney. But we are living through difficult, precarious and dangerous times. My daughter heard about the Paris attacks at school amidst playground hyperbole, fiction and youthful conversation. My wife – who is a secondary school teacher – and I faced interrogation: What happened? Why did it happen? Why do people kill? Is it safe to go to Paris?” We did not have any clear-cut answers. And I suspect that this climate of fear, suspicion and trepidation has increased hugely since the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London. The Manchester Arena attack, in particular, struck a chord with children as it involved people like them attending a pop concert of a children’s icon, Ariana Grande.

Picking up the pieces Many of us teaching professionals are having to pick up the pieces and help our children through this difficult time. In the immediate days after the horrific London Bridge attacks, many unconfirmed reports emerged of schools cancelling trips and parents pulling their children out of excursions. Is this far-fetched? Or is it sensible and understandable given what is going on around us? How should we, as individuals, as humans, as teaching professionals, deal with this climate that we are all living through? 50

July / August 17 | The Teacher

We do not live in an information vacuum and, with the pervasive nature of social media and 24/7 news, our children are exposed to events around them, which affect them emotionally and psychologically. So, how should we respond to our pupils, their parents and the community, and how do we deal with difficult questions that may arise within the classroom?

Sympathy, support, care Over the past few weeks, I have been gauging teacher opinion over how they have been dealing with recent events. They emphasise treating pupils with ‘respect and dignity’; increasing the child’s sense of ‘safety’; developing an ‘emotional connection’ with children and their families; offering ‘sympathy, support and care’ and encouraging ‘optimism’. They also put great importance on continuous professional development and training, to help them help our children. It is also important to reiterate that it is OK to be scared and frightened. Teachers are not robots and have emotions. They are also living through this period of fear and anxiety. These are traumatic, sensitive, emotive and controversial events. It is also OK not to have any answers. These acts of terror emanate from multiple complex sociological, political and ideological issues exploited by a warped criminal minority who carry out such acts fueled by a perceived sense of injustice. We, as teaching professionals, cannot be expected to solve these issues. But what we can and should do is remain calm amidst all

the chaos and uncertainty, and reassure our pupils that everything will be fine. Further, we should create a ‘safe space’ within our schooling institutions that encourages our pupils to discuss, write about, explore and debate these deep emotive issues without any fear. The role of the teacher must remain one of key confidante, facilitator, non-judgmental, deep listener and mentor. This may not always be possible given the constraints of the controversial Prevent strategy, but we must not forget that it is the lived experiences of our pupils that enriches our teaching and their learning.

Democratic citizenship Young people do not leave their sociocultural worlds, their fears and anxieties behind once they enter the school gates – and nor should they. As educators, our energy must centre on the moral and civic development of our pupils, focused around democratic citizenship, dialogue, political literacy, respect for human rights and intercultural understanding. It is only through such a stance will we challenge the rhetoric of division and the ideology of hate that has contributed to these recent violent events. We must maintain our humanity throughout and the clear message to all our pupils must be, in the words of the late Jo Cox MP, ‘we are far more united than the things that divide us’.

Dr Aminul Hoque MBE (right) is a lecturer in educational studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is the author of British-Islamic Identity: ThirdGeneration Bangladeshis From East London, Trentham Books at IOE Press (2015). Follow him on Twitter @BrIslam2015Even


DO WE NEED TO SPELL IT OUT? Saving a life can be as easy as ABC.

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Insurance is sold and underwritten by Aviva Insurance Limited. Registered in Scotland No. 2116. Registered office: Pitheavlis, Perth, PH2 0NH. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. NFPHGA0144 12.2016

The Teacher – July 2017  
The Teacher – July 2017