Joint NASUWT/NUT Position – Literacy And Numeracy Tests
The literacy and numeracy framework (LNF) is now statutory for pupils in Wales from reception to year 9, with assessment against the LNF a requirement from September 2014. Data from the tests will be collected and analysed nationally, marking an unwelcome return to national testing for the first time since Wales dropped SATs in 2004. The NUT is fundamentally opposed on educational grounds to testing of this type and has repeatedly raised its concerns at Ministerial level.
The reading and numeracy tests were introduced in May, with improving literacy and numeracy made statutory for all subjects – not just English, Welsh and maths – from ages five to 14. The Union is, of course, committed to ensuring our children get the best education, but NUT Cymru Secretary David Evans has expressed concern that teachers are being asked “to do more with less”. Welsh schools are already battling a funding gap of £604 a year between pupils in Wales and their counterparts in England according to the latest available figures.
The Union is worried about the workload implications for members in delivering the LNF and the associated testing, alongside other initiatives, without adequate time for training and preparation. We have raised these concerns with the Education Minister. Additionally, we have continued to have discussions with those charged with implementing the testing regime in future regarding the content and delivery of the tests.
Clear instructions regarding the tests can be found here and full details have been e-mailed school representative. If you become aware of any breach of these instructions please contact your local divisional secretary or NUT Cymru at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: 02920 491818
Oppose School Banding
In December 2011 the then Education Minister, Leighton Andrews AM, published his school bandings for Wales, essentially a schools league table system for ranking schools, pitting school against school and teacher against teacher. It is a policy vigorously opposed by the NUT, and yet another example of an initiative being imposed without proper consultation.
Year on year the NUT has made the case that these bandings create a yo-yo effect that does little to give an accurate reflection of performance. What is more concerning is the support that was promised following the first year of banding did not materialise. The volatility of this system has caused a great deal of harm to teachers and pupils and should be scrapped.
Your opposition to the banded schools plans must be heard - lobby your local political representative by writing to them here. Please help to make sure that the views of teachers in Wales are not ignored by the Welsh government.
Fair play for children in Wales
NUT Briefing on Pay, Pensions and Education Spending in Wales
This briefing shows how the Westminster Government's spending review will affect Wales and how the Welsh Assembly Government's Budget for 2011-12 will affect Welsh schools and their students. The Holtham Commission had already confirmed that Wales was underfunded. Following a settlement reduction in Wales funding, it is inevitable that schools will continue to suffer.
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NUT wins assurances but funding gap widens
The NUT Cymru campaign demanding Fair Play for Children in Wales has made a significant impact on the indefensible disparity in funding provision between Wales and England.
"I want to make sure that we spend the right amount of money on education, so I am making a commitment in this manifesto to spend 1% above the block grant every year until we reach a situation where we have parity of funding per head of pupil in England." Carwyn Jones First Minister for Wales
"I want to see more funding going to schools." Leighton Andrews Education Minister
These commitments are welcome. However, the gap in per pupil funding between England and Wales has widened to £604, according to January 2011 figures. We are calling on the Welsh Government to close the funding gap now. If the First Minister is to deliver on his pledge there needs to be a greater increase in spend than the promised one per cent above the block grant.
What you can do to help
We are now asking all school representatives to set up campaign groups in their schools and ask all teachers to get involved. Please also encourage all members to go to www.teachers.org.uk/walesfunding to sign our petition. If there are teachers in your school who are not yet members of the NUT, please encourage them to join. They can join online at http://www.teachers.org.uk or by phoning our joining hotlines on 0845 300 1669 or 020 7380 6369.
Let's make 2011 the year that we achieve "Fair Play for Children in Wales".
Please support our campaign for 'Fair Play for children in Wales'. Here is a quick and easy way in which you can show your support: sign our online petition on behalf of the children of Wales.
Fair Play for Children in Welsh leaflet A5 (English and Welsh versions)