Conference 2016

General Secretary's Speech

General Secretary's Speech

General Secretary Christine Blower’s speech to the NUT annual conference 2016

Climate Change

29 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Commenting after the debate on Motion 46, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Children and young people will have the stewardship of the planet in years to come. It is therefore valuable for schools to be able to provide information and understanding of the social, economic and environmental impacts of climate change. Without knowledge, young people will be less well equipped to deal with the consequences and help find the solutions.

Early Years

29 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Commenting after the debate on Motion 33, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The Early Years set the foundation for everything else that is to come. A growing body of evidence reveals that high quality Early Years education brings a wide range of benefits including better child wellbeing, better learning outcomes across lifetimes, and a reduction of poverty.

Changes to the Rule Book

29 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Commenting after the debate on Motion 62, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

European Union

29 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Commenting after the debate on Motion 63, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The issue of whether the UK stays in the EU or leaves will continue to be hotly debated. Members will make their own decisions about how they will vote in the referendum. What is clear, however, is that people in the UK must not step back from commitments to maintaining anti-racist policies and offering solidarity to those seeking refuge in this country.

Greater London Pay

29 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Commenting after the debate on Motion 60, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Living in London is no longer a sustainable, long-term option for teachers. A combination of ever-rising housing costs and real-terms cuts in pay is driving a teacher supply crisis. An NUT survey of young teacher members in London showed that many are struggling to live and work in a city where the average monthly cost of renting a one-bed flat is now over £1,100 – and rising. The average monthly take-home pay of a newly qualified teacher is £1,600.

Trade Union Rights

29 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Commenting after the debate on Motion 45, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The trade union movement is a vital part of what makes up a democratic society. Trade unions ensure that we are all treated fairly and justly at work, and they are a fundamental building block of a civilised society. If the Government, through its Trade Union Bill, attempts to silence people’s right to a voice within the workplace, then that is worrying in the extreme. It is as worrying for those people who are not members of a union as it is for those who are.

Fair Pay for Individual Teachers and for the Whole Profession

29 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Commenting after the debate on Motion 59, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The crisis in teacher morale and teacher supply requires a new start for teachers’ pay. We need to see the pay cuts imposed under David Cameron and the attempts to dismantle the national pay structure reversed. The introduction of performance related pay is an entirely unsuitable system for a profession where results depend upon the work of the whole school, not just individuals. Paying one teacher more than another can be very divisive and lead to unnecessary disputes. Equally, schools do not want or need the additional cost and bureaucracy of working out individual pay for teachers, and for this reason many have kept to the national pay scales.

Supporting School Leadership

28 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Supporting School Leadership

Commenting after the debate on Motion 56, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Head teachers and leadership teams are having to bear, alongside teachers, the brunt of this Government’s education policy. Many are deciding enough is enough and resigning or taking early retirement.

Young Teachers

28 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Young Teachers

Commenting after the debate on Motion 54, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Teaching is one of the best professions anyone could hope to enter. It is vital that it remains a career choice young graduates consider. The teacher and recruitment crisis shows this is clearly not the case.

Boycott of Primary School Testing

28 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Boycott of Primary School Testing

Commenting after the debate on Motion 32, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Excessive and age-inappropriate testing of our primary school pupils is causing stress for children and concern to teachers. Much of it demands that children learn content before they are ready and nearly all of it is squeezing the life and creativity out of the curriculum.

School Improvement, CPD and NQTs in Wales

28 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

School Improvement, CPD and NQTs in Wales

Wales’ largest union for qualified teachers has called on the Welsh Government to guarantee all Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) in Wales a post to complete their induction year.  NUT Cymru argues that such a policy, introduced in conjunction and consultation with teaching unions, could provide the capacity to release more experienced teachers to undertake school to school support and development activities in a co-ordinated, planned way whilst supporting the development of new teachers.  The proposal was proposed and supported at the NUT’s annual conference.

Children and Young People's Mental Health

28 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Children and Young People’s Mental Health

Commenting after the debate on Motion 44, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Teachers are deeply worried that the current testing and assessment methods in schools are creating anxiety for students and having an impact on child mental health. 90% of primary teachers told the NUT last week that there is a link between bad forms of assessment, and stress on children. While 85% of secondary teachers surveyed said that the badly-designed ways in which schools are measured are actually harming the self-esteem and mental health of pupils. 71% of secondary teachers also raised the concern that services available to their school failed to match the level of students’ need for counselling or mental health support.

Teacher Shortage Crisis

28 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Teacher Shortage Crisis

Commenting after the debate on Motion 43, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Teaching recruitment and retention are both at dangerously low levels, with many schools unable to fill vacant posts with suitably qualified candidates.  Increasing numbers are also leaving the profession. Last year saw the highest number of resignations for a decade.  NUT surveys of primary, secondary and leadership members show that the majority of teachers are considering leaving the profession in the next two years. (1) This is a desperately serious situation.

Ofsted

28 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Ofsted

Commenting after the debate on Motion 25, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Ofsted is one of the causes of unsustainable levels of pressure and workload for teachers, heads and pupils. Teachers are professionals who strive to improve teaching and learning in their school, and want to provide the best outcomes for their students. School inspection models must assist in this.

Children are more than a score

28 March 2015

NUT Conference 2016

Children are more than a score

Commenting after the debate on Motion 24, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

Prevent Strategy

28 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Prevent Strategy

Commenting after the debate on Motion 23, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT believes there is a moral obligation on schools and teachers to protect children and young people against extremism of whatever nature. The Union does, however, have some concerns regarding aspects of the current Prevent Strategy.

Racism and Migration

28 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Racism and Migration

Commenting after the debate on Motion 41, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Schools and teachers play a key role in welcoming migrant and refugee children and young people to this country, and supporting their progress within schools. The NUT condemns the Government’s inadequate response to the current migrant situation, which has exacerbated the suffering for so many, including school-age children and young people.

SEND Reforms

28 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

SEND Reforms

Commenting after the debate on Motion 40, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said

“The Government is missing the point with the focus of its SEN reforms.

Education in chaos: a survey of NUT school leadership members uncovers a chorus of concern about Government education policies

28 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Education in chaos: a survey of NUT school leadership members uncovers a chorus of concern about Government education policies.

An NUT survey completed by 831 leadership group members has delivered a damning verdict on current Government education policies. Only 3% of school leaders think that Government has ‘’a sensible range of policies’’. These are sobering figures with serious consequences for the sector and educational outcomes.

Equality, Solidarity and Trade Unionism

27 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Equality, Solidarity and Trade Unionism

Investing in Disabled Teachers

27 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Investing in Disabled Teachers

Commenting after the debate on Motion 38, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT is committed to supporting disabled teachers, including through our disabled teachers network and dedicated representation on the National Executive. Negative attitudes about disability must not prevent teachers from developing their careers and contributing to the profession. Losing teachers’ skills and experience from the education service simply because of mental or physical health conditions is an entirely unnecessary waste.

Impact of Government Policies on Race Equality

27 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Impact of Government Policies on Race Equality

Commenting after the debate on Motion 36, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“It is a key priority of the NUT to ensure that its black teachers have a voice in the Union, in the classroom, and in society at large, and do not face barriers to promotion and leadership.

Primary Assessment

27 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Primary Assessment

Commenting after the priority motion debate at Annual Conference, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT is calling on the Secretary of State to cancel the 2016 SATs tests. The Union will consider a ballot for the boycott of the summer 2017 tests.

Shameful asbestos in schools failings indicative of a widespread national problem

27 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Shameful asbestos in schools failings indicative of a widespread national problem

Today the Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC) is highlighting two key examples of asbestos failures which reveal systemic failings in the way in which asbestos is managed in our schools.  The first concerns schools in the London Borough of Brent, the second a school in Wales, but both have nationwide ramifications.

White Paper – wrong priorities

26 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

White Paper – wrong priorities

Commenting after the priority motion debate at Annual Conference, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The Government’s White Paper, misleading titled Educational Excellence Everywhere, is a complete distraction from the very real problems facing schools and parents now. It is a huge danger to our education system and opens the door to privatisation.

Sixth Form College funding

26 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Sixth Form College funding

Commenting after the debate on Motion 21, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Cuts to sixth form college funding have reached a desperate point, with many facing closure or at the very least having to cut back on staff and the subjects offered to students.

Professional Unity

26 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Professional Unity

Commenting after the priority motion debate at Annual Conference, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Professional Unity has been a longstanding policy position of the NUT. This aim is more important than ever. We believe that it is helpful for the profession to speak with one voice, both at national level and at the increasingly devolved school level.

The Fred & Anne Jarvis Award

26 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

The Fred & Anne Jarvis Award

This year’s Fred & Anne Jarvis Award has been given to children’s author Alan Gibbons.

Bullying

26 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Bullying

Commenting after the debate on Motion 15, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Teachers know that they have to be accountable for the work they do with their students. This, however, will not be achieved through fear and intimidation. Government needs to recognise and accept that for many teachers oppressive monitoring of their work is the reason for leaving the profession.

Supply teachers

26 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Supply teachers

Commenting after the debate on Motion 14, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Supply teachers provide a vital service in our schools. There is, however, a significant issue with pay and conditions for this group of teachers. Many are paid well below those on permanent contracts. The agencies, however, continue to drain millions of pounds from education funding. The rip-off of agencies which profit at the expense of decent pay for supply teachers has to stop.

Nicky Morgan speech

26 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Nicky Morgan speech

Commenting on today’s speech by the Education Secretary, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The Secretary of State’s speech today is further evidence, if any were needed, that the Government has the wrong priorities.

Workload, teacher shortage, funding

26 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Workload, teacher shortage, funding

Commenting after the debate on Motion 13, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Government policies have created the perfect storm for a teacher recruitment and retention crisis. Head teachers and teachers are leaving, through a combination of unbearably high workload, excessive accountability measures, and for head teachers the stress of balancing the books with funds that simply won’t stretch far enough.

Workload – DfE Working Group reports

26 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Workload – DfE Working Group reports

The NUT has welcomed the Department for Education (DfE) working group reports on unnecessary workload burdens associated with data management, planning and marking. These reports are the result of sustained NUT pressure over teacher workload.

The DfE Working Group reports are here: planning and resources, marking policy and data management.

Annual Conference Speech: President Anne Swift

26 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Please click here to download the Presidential Address – by Anne Swift – Brighton – 26 March 2016.

Curriculum and assessment in chaos: a survey of NUT secondary school members

26 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Curriculum and assessment in chaos: a survey of NUT secondary school members

All figures are from the results of an NUT survey of secondary teacher members completed by 3,785 respondents between 16 and 20 March 2016.

Curriculum and assessment in chaos: a survey of NUT primary school members

26 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Curriculum and assessment in chaos: a survey of NUT primary school members

A survey to which 5,247 primary teachers responded in only two days paints a troubling picture of life in primary schools for both teachers and pupils. It will make disturbing reading for parents and carers.

The NUT Blair Peach Award

25 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

The NUT Blair Peach Award

Baljeet Ghale is the winner of this year’s Blair Peach Award.

The award is named after the past president of East London NUT who was killed during an anti-racist demonstration in Southall, London on 23 April 1979. On the day of his death, Blair Peach was marching against the far right National Front. The award is granted to individual members or groups of members who have made significant and exemplary contributions to LGBT+, race, gender, and/or disability equality in their school or division.

Steve Sinnott International Solidarity Award

25 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

Steve Sinnott International Solidarity Award

The Steve Sinnott International Solidarity Award was established to recognise NUT members who have made outstanding contributions to international solidarity. It seeks to foster and celebrate work done on the global stage at association/division/school level in England and Wales.

The winner of the second Steve Sinnott International Solidarity Award is Mary Compton, who maintains the teachersolidarity.com website. As the nomination by Bradford NUT notes, Mary’s campaigning as an NUT member reflects an “inter-connected and multi-faceted understanding” of national and international issues.

NUT Regional/Wales Representative and Officer of the Year Awards

25 March 2016

NUT Conference 2016

NUT Regional/Wales Representative and Officer of the Year Awards

The NUT General Secretary today presented awards to the Representative and Officer of the Year. These awards were created in 2011 to recognise tremendous work carried out on behalf of the Union by representatives and officers at local level.

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