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December

2009

The NUT newsletter for ALL Cornwall teachers

Result of Indicative Ballot on SATs The results of the indicative ballot on SATs showed that NUT members overwhelmingly rejected the tests as a meaningful way of measuring pupil progress. A massive majority of 95% believe SATs Christine with Mick should be scrapped with 76% saying they Brookes from the NAHT would be prepared to take action to boycott the tests, should that course of action be necessary. The overall turnout on this survey was just under 25% which is very high for such a test of opinion. We are particularly pleased that the turnout amongst leadership members was about 35%. These are the people who will be at the forefront of any boycott and therefore their support of the indicative ballot was crucial. Both the NUT and the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) will be taking decisions on the next steps for the joint campaign to end SATs at meetings towards the end of January. NUT General Secretary Christine Blower said, “The indicative ballot shows an overwhelming rejection of SATs by teachers, it is a huge endorsement for our campaign. These tests are highly damaging to pupils’ education and fail to provide any meaningful information on the work of schools. The NUT and NAHT call upon the government to engage urgently in constructive talks about ending the tests and putting in its place alternative assessment that will be of value to pupils, teachers and parents”.

Seasons Greetings to all our readers

APP PLANNING & WORKLOAD Towards the end of last year the NUT sent a poster into all schools about a joint statement that had been agreed by all teacher and head teacher Unions with the DCSF and the QCDA. The aim of the statement is to prevent excessive and unnecessary workload arising from Assessing Pupils’ Progress (APP). Now in a new school year it’s a good time to revisit the intention of the statement. Agreement on this scale is rarely achieved and it provides a solid basis for examining the implementation of APP in your school to see if the workload is manageable. APP is not statutory and so should only be introduced if sufficient time and resources are allocated to teachers to make it workable. From the pilot it is clear that starting to use APP is onerous for teachers and it takes a while to become familiar with it but then it becomes faster and easier to use. Particularly in the initial phase teachers should expect considerable time and support. Planning Teachers in the pilot did find that APP helped improve planning and questioning. The joint statement about APP includes a reference to joint QCDA/DCSF/OfSTED guidance on planning. This is helpful as it revalidates a statement about planning from 2002 which shows that a lot less is required than is asked for by many school managements.

What will a 10% cut look like in your school?

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


Cornwall NUT Central District Secretary Reuben Wallace is Cornwall NUT Central District Secretary. He is also NUT Staff Representative at Richard Lander School in Truro. Central District covers Falmouth, Truro, Newquay, St Austell and the surrounding areas. Contact Reuben for support and advice on 07805579448 or cornwallcentralsec@gmail.com

Cornwall NUT Western District Secretary Michael Heron is Cornwall NUT Western District Secretary. He’s also been NUT Staff Representative at Helston Community College for the last 6 years. Western District covers Camborne, Redruth, Penzance, Helston, the Lizard and the surrounding areas. You can contact Michael for support and advice by email:gmichael.33@btinternet.com or by phone on 07896181921

Cornwall NUT Eastern District Secretary Phil Bond is Cornwall NUT Eastern District Secretary. Eastern District covers Torpoint, Bodmin, Liskeard and surrounding areas.

Tax Relief We have had a number of enquiries about claiming tax relief on NUT subscriptions. You require form P87 which can be found by doing a search on the HM Customs & Revenue website. If you are claiming for past years you will need to complete a separate form for each year. Send the completed form(s) to your local tax office

CRUMBS... The Boundary Commission is recommending that Cornwall’s move from 82 to 123councillors that formed One Cornwall in April should be reviewed The proposed 50% increase in the Tamar Bridge toll has been delayed and will not proceed until a public enquiry has looked at the fairness of the increase

Guidance is given on workplace wellbeing Pay rises for teachers for 2011 and Employers need to pay more attention to the levels of stress and anxiety 2012 will be 1% at most in the workplace, key NHS advisers say in a guidance document on Employer pension contributions mental wellbeing in the workplace. for our pensions will be capped The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) put the and those earning more than cost of work-related mental illness at £28 billion – a quarter of the UK's £100k a year will pay more from total sick bill. More than 13 million working days a year are lost because 2012 [yes—there are some of work-related stress, anxiety and depression. Recommendations made teachers earning over £100k…] for employers say they should: Promote a culture of participation, equality and fairness that is based on open communication and inclusion; Create an awareness and understanding of mental wellbeing and reduce the potential for discrimination and stigma related to mental health problems; and Ensure systems are in place for assessing and monitoring the mental wellbeing of employees so that areas for improvement can be identified and risks caused by work and working conditions addressed. This could include using employee attitude surveys and information about absence rates, staff turnover and investment in training and development, and open communication. Professor Susan Michie of University College London and member of the public health interventions advisory committee at NICE said: "Workplace mental wellbeing is important both for staff and the organisation's productivity.” The guidance also highlights the need for good communication between employees and their managers and the need to treat people as valued individuals. Bad managers were the single biggest cause of problems.


Division Officers and Committee 2010—2011 Cornwall NUT Committee meets regularly, usually in Truro. Nominations from members are invited for the following positions to serve from the 2010 AGM : Vice-President Secretary Deputy Secretary Minuting Secretary Treasurer Young Teacher Representative Black Teacher Representative

Membership Secretary LGBT Representative Equalities Officer Health & Safety Adviser Student Membership Officer Retired Teacher Representative Newsletter Editor

Moved schools? School name changed? Update your membership records at HQ Call 0845 300 1666

today!

An electronic version is available from plymnut@teacher.clara.co.uk please mark your email “Cornwall Nomination Form”

Completed forms may be emailed—see page 4

Ian Williams Division Secretary

To be received by the Secretary no later than 9th January 2010 [an extension has been allowed to cover postal delays]

Nominee’s signature _______________________________

Signature ________________________________________

Seconded by _____________________________________

Signature ________________________________________

Proposed by ______________________________________

________________________________________________

wish to be nominated for the position of:

I _______________________________________________

NOMINATION FORM

OFFICERS & COMMITTEE 2010 – 2011

NATIONAL UNION OF TEACHERS CORNWALL DIVISION

Nominations must be in writing (signed by the Proposer and Seconder and endorsed by the nominee) and received by the Secretary by the due date. Please use the nomination form below which may be photocopied. Following any necessary elections, results will be declared at the 2010 AGM.

PM Objectives We have had a number of calls about schools setting numerical pupil performance targets as objectives. PM has objectives for you to work towards and you must be reviewed on that basis: i.e. how well did you work towards achieving the objective? They are not targets where you fail if they are not reached. The Union’s view has always been that numerical targets should not be set as objectives because setting a target as an objective is confusing. It may also lead to groups of children being sidelined if they are not targeted or the target is easier for them. If you feel you have been unfairly reviewed on the basis of numerical targets please contact us.


Cornwall NUT has nominated Kevin Courtney for DGS. More information from www.kevin4dgs.com Performance Management, drop-ins, learning walks there is an increasing number of lesson observations under one guise or another which are adding significantly to the workload and stress of members. There is guidance to limit the number of observations for performance management. Although Heads have a duty to know what is happening in classrooms, they must not place unreasonable additional demands on people. If you believe lesson observations in your school are unreasonable, ask your School Rep to call a union meeting and/or contact the NUT for advice. In some schools an acceptable protocol for classroom visits has been successfully negotiated. This should be in place in all schools—so why not yours? The NUT’s policy is that in any one PM cycle there should be a maximum of three hours of lesson observation for Performance Management AND for monitoring teaching and learning. Details of this policy are on

www.nut.org.uk If observations are causing problems get together and let your HT know and call a union meeting [together with the ATL and NASUWT members if appropriate]

NUT School Rep’s courses to be run in your local area in 2010. Whole course completely free and travel costs met together with any accommodation

Past their sell by date!

Take this newsletter into school when you return in January! [happy new year] Division Secretary Ian Williams cornwallnut@aol.co.uk

National Executive Member: b.frost@executive.nut.org.uk 01647 433988 Regional Office: south.west@nut.org,uk 01392 258028

Kernel (December 2009)  

Newsletter for NUT members in Cornwall

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