NUT Cymru are delighted to announce that it will be celebrating International Women's Day by holding its first ever NUT Cymru Women's conference. The conference, titled 'Finding our Voice,' will involve a number of workshops and discussions designed to empower women in the profession. The event aims to create a network to get more women involved in union work as well as in the wider community.
Commenting on the Silk Commission recommendation that teachers’ pay and conditions be devolved to Wales, NUT Cymru Secretary David Evans said:-
“This recommendation should be rejected by the Welsh Government. Acceptance would undoubtedly lead to a position whereby pay rates would be driven down and the NUT could never agree to a situation where teachers in Wales could end up being paid less than colleagues in other areas of the UK for doing the same work. That is an issue previously recognised at the Senedd and there is no valid argument put forward in the Commission’s report that would justify any change of mind. Teachers’ pay and conditions must be protected if we are to ensure that the best practitioners remain in our Welsh schools.
We would expect and trust that an early decision can be made in this regard. Teachers have to be assured that they have the backing of the Welsh Government at a time when they have faced constant attack on their conditions of service from a Westminster Government.”
Another year of school banding volatility has left pupils, parents and teachers in limbo according to Wales’ largest teaching union. NUT Cymru say the fact this year’s publication has followed previous trends of seeing schools yo-yo up and down the bands underlines the need for a fundamental review of the system, in particular issues around the frequency of publication and methodology used to band schools.
Ahead of next month’s school banding publication, NUT Cymru has warned that unless there are fundamental changes to the way the system works, parents will continue to have misleading and sporadic information. The Union has called on the Welsh Government to examine how often the bandings are published as well as the system by which the bandings are ranked.
Commenting on this year’s draft budget, NUT Secretary, David Evans, said:
Commenting on Rhondda Cynon Taff Council’s proposed cuts to nursery services NUT Division Secretary for Rhondda Cynon Taff, Clare Jones, said:
“These changes will have a profound impact on the quality of education in RCT. The plans are going to impact on every single primary and infant school in the local authority with an estimated minimum of 100 teaching jobs and 300 teaching assistant jobs put under threat of loss or reduction in hours as a result.
Commenting on this year’s draft budget, NUT Secretary, David Evans, said:
“We are all well aware of the huge pressures on the funding available to the Welsh Government as a result of cuts being imposed by Westminster. This is an incredibly tight settlement and there is no hiding from the fact there will be implications for the delivery of public services as a result of that.
“Whilst education is not shielded from the implications of cuts to the Welsh Government’s finances, we are pleased that this draft budget has provided new and significant investment for the Pupil Deprivation Grant (PDG). This funding has been welcomed by NUT members in the past as making a big difference at school level and I am sure teachers, head teachers and deputy head teachers will be pleased to see this included as part of the budget deal.
On 18th March 2013 the NUT and the NASUWT, in the face of the continuing relentless assault on the teaching profession, announced a programme of escalation of action which involved a rolling programme of strike action in England and Wales during this term.
In letters to the Westminster Secretary of State for Education and the Education Minister in Wales, the unions set out how the rolling strikes could be avoided.
In stark contrast to the attitude of the Westminster Secretary of State, Ministers in Wales had been prepared seriously to engage in constructive dialogue to seek to resolve these disputes. The Welsh Government held detailed discussions with both unions.
Whilst the Westminster Secretary of State continues his reckless refusal to engage, the new Minister in Wales has underlined the Welsh Government’s continuing commitment to discussion to address teachers’ concerns and resolve the trade disputes. We have welcomed in particular the robust opposition of the Welsh Government to the Westminster Secretary of State’s attacks on teachers’ pay, pensions and conditions of service and good progress on recommendations to schools on appraisal.
In response to the progress made in the recent discussions, the NASUWT and the NUT have agreed to withdraw the planned two days of rolling strikes in October across schools in Wales.
Talks will continue between the NUT, NASUWT and the Welsh Government to seek to resolve the trade disputes.
Commenting on this year’s GCSE results, NUT Secretary, David Evans, said:
“This has been a difficult year for education in Wales with huge upheaval due to policy reforms introduced by the Welsh Government which are still bedding in. Added to which morale has been depressingly low as a result of the attacks on the profession by the Westminster Government. That the high pass rate secured last year has been retained despite these challenges, is a real testament to the hard work and dedication of pupils, parents and teachers.
Commenting on today’s examination results, NUT Wales Secretary David Evans said:
“The NUT congratulates the thousands of students in Wales who have received their A Level results today. A 97.6% success rate is a fantastic achievement across Wales and fully reflects the significant work and endeavour of pupils, teachers, support staff and input from family members in assuring that goals and aspirations are met.
Wales’ largest teaching union has welcomed the appointment of Huw Lewis to the role of Minister for Education and Skills as part of the Welsh Government's new look cabinet. NUT Cymru said they look forward to working constructively with the Minister in ensuring the best education system possible for pupils, parents and teachers.
Wales Secretary, David Evans, Said;
"We welcome the appointment of Huw Lewis as the new Minister for Education and very much look forward to working closely with him in the future. There are a number of challenges facing the education sector over the coming weeks, months and years and it is important that they are tackled with consensus and conviction.
NUT Cymru, Wales’ largest Union for qualified teachers, has given its initial response to the Robert Hill review into the future of education delivery in Wales.
Wales Secretary of NUT Cymru, David Evans, said:
“Clearly this is a wide ranging and detailed report that will have major implications on the delivery of education in Wales. There are a number of recommendations that will directly and indirectly impact on the working conditions of our members and on the pupils they teach. We will take time to examine the content of the report and make our representations to the Minister in due course as part of the consultation the Welsh Government will undertake.
The largest union for qualified teachers in Wales has expressed disappointment that the Welsh Government has chosen to introduce fines for persistent truancy. NUT Cymru says that whilst long-term truancy is a problem that needs to be addressed, there is a fear the policy will undermine some of the good work that is already being done by schools and local authorities.
NUT Wales Policy Officer, Owen Hathway, said:
“We know that persistent truancy is a problem for schools. The impact is not only evident for children who find themselves lacking in confidence and unable to understand what is going on in the classroom, but also for their classmates and teachers who have to adapt to the sporadic attendance of some pupils. In that sense, the Welsh Government should be commended for addressing truancy as a priority.
NUT Cymru says it has received alarming reports regarding the impact of the introduction of literacy and numeracy tests for all pupils from Year 2 – Year 9. Examples of students crying, reacting angrily and even threatening to no longer attend classes have been rife, especially amongst younger children.
NUT Cymru Secretary, David Evans, said:
“The fact that very young children have been reduced to tears is abhorrent to the teaching profession and distressing to teachers who are being placed in a very difficult position of having to force the tests on them. For those in the secondary sector, the impact has been somewhat less evident. The tests are still having a major impact on teachers in terms of dramatically increasing their workloads and putting major pressure on them and pupils. However, at the primary level these tests are a disaster.
NUT Cymru, Wales’ largest Union for qualified teachers, says there is an urgent need to address failings within consortia working following a review by the Welsh Government. NUT President, Beth Davies, said that whilst the principle of consortia working was supported by the Union, the delivery of services had not been adequate.
NUT President, Beth Davies, said:
“It does not come as much of a surprise that there are so many areas where the different consortia are falling behind. Concerns about the direction of consortia working were high on the agenda at the Union’s recent conference.
NUT Cymru has called on the Welsh Government to ensure that pupils at Llanrumney and Rumney schools in Cardiff do not have to suffer double disruption as a result of closing the Llanrumney site a year early. NUT Cymru’s response to the consultation process on behalf of its members who are teachers at the schools, concluded that whilst early closures would certainly create problems for staff, parents and pupils, there was no significant benefit to be had.
Mal Davies, who represents NUT Cymru teachers in Cardiff said:
“There appears to be no real advantage to the early move to closure, but plenty of concern about the negative impact of the decision. The last thing staff, parents and pupils want to have to go through is the disruption of moving schools twice over the next few years as a result of this early closure plan.