Commenting on the National Audit Office’s findings about oversight and intervention of academies and maintained schools, and the Department for Education’s monitoring, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
Commenting on the Department for Education’s announcement of £2m funding to help schools tackle homophobic bullying, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The NUT welcomes the funding set aside by Government for schools to use to tackle homophobic bullying. The NUT endorses the research findings by NatCen which recommends that training and whole school policies are in place to deal with such important issues.
Commenting on the Department for Education’s figures for GCSE results in England for 2013-14, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“In light of the huge changes that have been brought into the examination system, comparing GCSE results with previous years is a nonsensical exercise. Schools have been put under immense pressure to chase ever-changing targets and adapt to new requirements laid down by Government. Often these changes have been brought in with little or no notice and have put students and schools at a huge disadvantage.
Commenting on the Local Government Association’s call to relax the rules preventing parents from taking children out of school in term time, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
‘The problem lies with the holiday companies and airlines and if this issue is to be addressed sensibly then there should be pressure put on them, not schools.
‘Many teachers are parents and we entirely sympathise with the dilemma caused by price hikes for breaks during the school holidays. In particular, at this time of pressure on pay, our sympathies are with those on low pay who have little option but to take the cheapest holiday they can find.
‘It remains the case that pupils can be granted time off in exceptional circumstances.’
Commenting on the Deputy Prime Minister's announcement of The Workload Challenge, a Department for Education consultation about the high levels of teacher workload, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:
"The announcement of a consultation on teacher workload is welcome news and a testament to the NUT's campaigning on this critical and central issue for teachers.
"Our own polling on workload shows that teachers are exhausted and have no time for a life outside of work or even enough time to prepare the exciting lessons they would like to teach.
Commenting on a report by the Labour Party which shows that £1m has been spent on proposals for free schools that never opened, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The utter waste of public money on free schools continues unabated. That £1 million has been spent on free schools that never opened comes as no surprise to the NUT, given the lack of transparency over the approval process.
Commenting on the report State of the Nation 2014: Social Mobility and Child Poverty in Great Britain, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“This report highlights what we already know: that poverty, while not an excuse, does have an impact on educational attainment. Children and young people who arrive at school hungry, who live in poor housing and who cope with the daily struggle of living in households with little money, cannot learn as well as they could and should.
“Abolishing the bedroom tax, increased funding for early years education with more qualified teachers and setting stringent targets to end child poverty by 2020, as well as restoring financial support for post-16 students, would all have a positive impact on the lives of millions.
“The UK is one of the richest countries in the world. It should simply not be the case that 85% of teachers have seen an increase in the number of children coming to school hungry and we have 3.5 million children growing up in poverty. The NUT Manifesto for Education urges all political parties ahead of the general election to address this issue”.
As a result of continued pressure from the NUT in the ongoing Government talks and its workload campaign, Ofsted has published an important document ‘Ofsted inspection – clarification for schools’, outlining what it does not expect schools to do or provide during, or before, inspection.
It states, for example, that Ofsted DOES NOT:
The proposed secure colleges would cater for hundreds of young people in detention, replacing existing young offenders' institutions, secure training centres and children's homes. Plans are already under way for an initial college which would hold 320 boys and girls aged 12-18 at an estimated cost of £85m.
Each year, the Anthony Walker Memorial Lecture* is organised by the NUT in conjunction with the Walker family and the Anthony Walker Foundation. Anthony was murdered in a brutal, racially motivated attack in Liverpool on 30 July 2005. The crime shocked Anthony’s community, as well as the people of Liverpool, and gained widespread national publicity.
The lecture is one of a range of activities that keeps Anthony’s memory alive and continues the fight against racist violence. It is held every year during Black History Month and this year will take place in Barking at the Broadway Theatre, Broadway, Barking, IG11 7LS
Christine Blower, NUT General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers:
"There is no place for racism either in schools or within in society. We need to celebrate the diversity of modern Britain and work together to raise children who are proud of themselves and their communities. The Anthony Walker Foundation’s contribution to this goal is invaluable and the NUT is pleased and honoured to sponsor the annual memorial lecture. We are particularly pleased to be at the Broadway Theatre in Barking given that the NUT worked alongside other organisations to rid the borough of the BNP at local council elections."
For more information and to reserve a place contact the Education and Equalities department by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7380 4861 or see the attached flyer.
Mahdi Abu Dheeb president of the Bahrain Teachers Association is serving a five-year jail sentence, having originally been sentenced to ten years in prison by a military court in Bahrain in 2011. Among other things, Abu Dheeb was accused of using his position to call for a strike by teachers, of halting the educational process, and of “inciting hatred of the regime” and “attempting to overthrow the ruling system by force”.
His sentence was reduced to five years on appeal in 2012. Amnesty has named him a prisoner of conscience and called for his immediate and unconditional release.
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union said:
It is shocking that Maahdi Abu Dheed has been imprisoned since 2011simply for calling for a strike. This is an unacceptable position for the Bahraini authorities to take. It is high time that the Bahraini authorities released him from prison. Teacher unions and the international community are appalled by Mahdis treatment and will continue our campaign to have him released.
The NUT also took the opportunity to raise with the Bahraini Ambassador our concerns about the treatment of children who exercise their right to protest.
Commenting on the Sutton Trust report Advancing Ambitions, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
‘The report is right to highlight the need for young people to have access to independent careers information, advice and guidance to be available face to face, not just online and through telephone services.
Commenting on the extension of powers of Regional Commissioners announced by David Cameron, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The introduction of commissioners to oversee schools is an important admission that fragmenting the public education service, and attempting ‘control and command’ from Westminster, was a major mistake.