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.
Following discussions with the Welsh Government over the administration and marking of national numeracy and literacy tests, NASUWT Cymru and NUT Cymru have advised their members of the steps they should take. These include only administering the tests if they form part of a timetabled lesson and are undertaken in the teacher’s classroom; not to be expected to prepare their classrooms for the tests; not to mark the tests and not to input data from the tests.
The advice will cover the vast majority of teachers in Wales at both primary and secondary schools.
The two largest teacher unions, NUT and NASUWT, representing 9 out of 10 teachers, are today announcing the next phase of their jointly coordinated campaign to Protect Teachers and Defend Education.
Following the failure to resolve our trade disputes with the Welsh Education Minister, and the continued refusal of the Secretary of State in Westminster to enter into genuine and meaningful discussions to resolve the issues over pay, pensions and conditions of service, plans are in place for the next stage of industrial action which will include:
continuation of the current action short of strike action instructions;
national rallies across England and Wales in April and May;
escalation of the national action short of strike action;
a rolling programme of national strikes commencing with local authority areas in the North West of England on 27 June;
unless the Education Minister in Wales responds positively to the demands we are making to him, the rolling programme of strike action will include action in Wales in the Autumn term; and
unless the Secretary of State in Westminster responds positively to the demands we are making to him, a one day all-out national strike before the end of the Autumn term.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“Disruption from the rolling programme of strike action in Wales can be easily avoided if the Minister is prepared to consider seriously our more than reasonable demands.
"The Minister must recognise that teachers' patience has been tried to the extent that it is now exhausted. They want to see tangible progress towards resolution of our trade dispute.”
Christine Blower, General Secretary of the NUT, said:
“We need the Minister in Wales to recognise that unless our reasonable demands are met, strike action is inevitable.
“Some progress on workload had been made but that has stalled. We stand ready to engage with the Minister to make progress towards a positive outcome for teachers and children.”
Wales’ largest union for qualified teachers has called on the Welsh Government to commit to a policy change supporting supply teachers. NUT Cymru says there has to be a clear future for individuals when they qualify as teachers. The Union is arguing for a clear strategy that provides a guaranteed offer of work for 12 months for all newly qualified teachers (NQTs) in a maintained school when individuals achieve qualified teacher status.
NUT Cymru Secretary, David Evans, said:
“The way supply agencies are operating is causing huge problems for teachers and schools. NQTs, who are in their first year of teaching after qualifying, often struggle to get work and end up being held over a barrel by agencies. Many suffer far lower pay and conditions than their qualifications deserve, not to mention an inability to access pensions or training. They cannot oppose the system as it’s the only way they can access work to complete their induction period. It sadly leads to some enthusiastic and promising young teachers simply leaving the profession.