Press releases - England

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England

A-Level Results

16 August 2017

Commenting ahead of the announcement of A- level results, Rosamund McNeil, Head of Education and Equalities, National Union of Teachers, said:

“The National Union of Teachers congratulates students on their A-Level results. It is through the hard work and commitment shown by students and their teachers that they have achieved what they have.

Sutton Trust

10 August 2017

Commenting on the Sutton Trust report which shows that fewer young people are thinking of going to university, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said; 

“The student loan system in England is a disastrously bad way of funding higher education, committing school-leavers to 30 years of debt repayment at a rising rate of interest.

EPI report on educational attainment gap

3 August 2017

Commenting on the Education Policy Institute report, Closing the Gap? Trends in Educational Attainment and DisadvantageAvis Gilmore, Assistant General Secretary, of the National Union of Teachers, said; 

“This report gives a sombre warning to Government that unless investment and the correct interventions are in place the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers will continue. Local authorities and schools are being starved of cash resulting in the closure of or cut-backs to many essential support services for those pupils most in need.

Supreme Court

27 July 2017

Commenting on the Supreme Court ruling on employment tribunal fees, which found in favour of Unison, Avis Gilmore, Assistant General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: 

“This is a great win for all workers. It was morally wrong to introduce charges in the first place, making it difficult and expensive for those not in trade unions to bring their case to court. Furthermore, it gave a green light to bad employers to disregard the rights of workers, and it made negotiating settlements that much harder.  The workplace has been made a fairer place now thanks to the Supreme Court's decision. 

“The Government’s complete failure to rely on good evidence when introducing these fees, or to heed the evidence of their unfair effect on access to justice, has been comprehensively exposed by the Supreme Court’s analysis.”

Academies Spending

27 July 2017

Commenting on the publication of the Department for Education’s report on income and expenditure in academies in England, 2015-16, Rosamund McNeil, Head of Education at the National Union of Teachers, said: 

“The report demonstrates the growing financial crisis affecting all schools – academies as well as maintained – showing that, in the 2015-16 school year, the total revenue expenditure in academies exceeded income by £280m. The recent announcement by the Government while a step in the right direction is certainly not enough to stave off the savage cuts to teaching and teacher assistant posts, the rising class sizes or the cuts to courses and resources for students. Academy status is no security against financial austerity for schools.

“It is of concern that academies’ expenditure on teaching staff has fallen. We think that local authorities are best placed to achieve value for money and economies of scale in back office services and the academy system is enabling the private sector to profit at taxpayers’ expense. Private supply agencies are also exploiting the recruitment crisis while underpaying supply teachers. This has got to end with a properly funded and locally managed supply pool ensuring high quality, properly paid supply staff to cover short term vacancies.”

Labour analysis shows increase in primary class sizes

Thursday 27 July 2017

Commenting on the figures obtained by the Labour Party showing  more  than half a million primary school pupils in England are being taught in classes of more than 36, Rosamund McNeil, Head of Education, National Union of Teachers, said:

“Far too many schools have to reluctantly increase the number of pupils in classes as a direct result of insufficient funding. By describing adding extra children to classes as an ‘efficiency saving’, the DfE is trying to paper over the harmful consequences of under-funding.

Labour analysis shows increase in primary class sizes

Thursday 27 July 2017

Commenting on the figures obtained by the Labour Party showing  more  than half a million primary school pupils in England are being taught in classes of more than 36, Rosamund McNeil, Head of Education, National Union of Teachers, said:

“Far too many schools have to reluctantly increase the number of pupils in classes as a direct result of insufficient funding. By describing adding extra children to classes as an ‘efficiency saving’, the DfE is trying to paper over the harmful consequences of under-funding.

The Fred & Anne Jarvis Award

20 July 2017

This year’s Fred & Anne Jarvis Award has been given to NUT member Jonny Crawshaw from the City of York

“Jonny has campaigned tirelessly for rights of children to a decent education in York. As well as this work at a local level Jonny is a founder member and spokesperson for the national parent-led organisation ‘Rescue Our Schools’ and has spoken on behalf of children and teachers at several events.

School exclusion figures

20 July 2017

Commenting on the rise of fixed term and permanent exclusions in schools, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said;

“This is a concerning trend and the DfE must give serious and honest consideration of what is driving these rising numbers of exclusions. NUT members tell us that as the curriculum gets narrower and children’s experience of school is ever more focused on preparation for tests and exams, more students are becoming disengaged from school which in turn leads to problems with behaviour and mental health problems.

Government response to EBacc consultation

19 July 2017

Commenting on the Department for Education’s new target for 90% of pupils to take EBacc subjects by 2025, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said;

 “The Government now intends to introduce yet another accountability measures on which schools will be scrutinised and judged, including by Ofsted.

Joint union statement on latest Government school funding announcement

17 July 2017

The Government's funding announcement is disappointing and a return to smoke and mirrors statements on school funding.  Whilst any extra money is welcome this isn’t enough to stop the huge cuts that schools are making.

The calculations published on our organisations' School Cuts website showed that under the Conservative Party's manifesto plans for school funding, schools faced a loss of £11.6 billion in real terms between 2015/16 and 2021/22.

NUT Survey: 98% of teachers say pupils affected by concerns around body image

15 July 2017

The NUT conducted a one day online members’ survey of secondary school teachers on 7 July to seek views on pupils’ confidence in their body image.  492 secondary school teachers responded. 

Nearly all teachers, 98%,  indicated that some or more of their students are affected by ‘worries about how they look’. This is resulting in many pupils opting out of physical activity or suffering from eating disorders. 

Taylor Review into working practices

11 July 2017

Commenting on Matthew Taylor’s report looking at modern working practices, Amanda Brown, Assistant General Secretary, of the National Union of Teachers, said; 

“Modern employment practices leave insecure workers dependent and exploited. The aim in the report that ‘legislation does more of the work’ relies on compliant, transparent employment practices which teachers on zero hours contracts or working as supply teachers do not recognise. 

Missed opportunity on teachers’ pay

10 July 2017

Commenting on the Government’s announcement on teachers’ pay and the 1% public sector pay cap, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said;

“This is a missed opportunity which the Government will come to regret as the teacher recruitment and retention crisis gets worse.

Free School Meals U-Turn

4 July 2017

Commenting on Nick Gibb’s confirmation in the Commons today that infant free school meals will not be scrapped, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said;

“This is a victory for all those who campaigned to retain free school meals for all infant children. It is hard to credit that a Conservative Government was seriously considering taking the food off young children’s plates.

Children's Commissioner report on vulnerable children in England

4 July 2017

Commenting on the analysis revealing millions of children in England living vulnerable or high risk lives, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

SATs results

4 July 2017

Commenting on the DfE publication of Key Stage 2 tests, and the percentage of pupils reaching what Government has decided it is the expected standard in the core subjects of Maths and English, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said;

“Teachers and pupils have put in many extra yards to get these results: many will be pleased, or relieved, at what they have achieved. But overall the results make sombre reading. As the House of Commons Education Committee concluded earlier this year, we have a primary assessment system which ‘does not improve teaching and learning’.

JUAC Conference

3 July 2017

The first national conference addressing the issue of how to protect children and staff from the dangers of asbestos in schools and colleges is being held on 4 July 2017 at the Hillscourt Conference Centre, Rednal, near Birmingham.  The conference is organised by the Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC), a non-party political campaign which aims to protect children and staff in schools by promoting awareness of the dangers of asbestos and the need for improved management.

Class Sizes

29 June 2017

Commenting on Department for Education statistics which show that the number of secondary school pupils taught in classes of 30+ has gone up by 21% in two years, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

Impact of social media on children and young people

30 June 2017

Commenting on the Education Policy Institute (EPI) report Social media and children’s mental health: a review of the evidenceKevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Social media is not going away and the way young people use it is changing all the time. It  can be a great way to communicate but it also opens up different risks to young people. 

Public Sector Pay

29 June 2017

Commenting on the rejection of Labour’s amendment to the Queen’s Speech calling for an end to the public sector pay cap, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary, National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

Social Mobility

28 June 2017

Commenting on the report Time for Change, published today by the Social Mobility Commission, Rosamund McNeil, Head of Education at the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said: “This report is an urgent reminder of the desperately unbalanced nature of UK society.

NUT, FBU and ATL Call on Government to Strengthen Fire Safety In Schools

28 June 2017

Last week, faced with criticism that it was putting profit before children’s safety, it was reported in the press that the Government had finally caved in to pressure from the NUT, FBU and ATL not to weaken current fire safety advice to schools.

Queen’s Speech and School Funding

27 June 2017

Commenting on this afternoon’s Commons debate, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Justine Greening has demonstrated today in the House of Commons debate on Education that she and her Government are not listening to the very real and pressing concerns about school funding.

NUT survey: SATs having damaging consequences for both children and schools

25 June 2017

The SATs effect: teachers’ verdict – Summer Term 2017, a survey of 2,300 National Union of Teachers primary members (attached), shows that the vast majority of teachers believe the primary assessment system is broken. The survey shows a widespread lack of confidence in the Government’s system of assessment and accountability as it affects our youngest pupils, as well as a growing conviction that it needs fundamental change with:

Schools increasingly using unqualified staff to cover teacher absence

24 June 2017

This Saturday’s annual NUT Supply Teacher Conference will hear that employment prospects for supply teachers are getting tougher, as schools increasingly use unqualified staff in place of qualified supply teachers to cover teacher absence.

The NUT’s 2017 supply teacher survey, which received a record 1,300 responses, shows that 41% of agency supply teachers say that getting work is becoming increasingly hard – up from 35% last year. Less than one third of agency teachers (32%) say they can get work almost every day – down from just over half last year – while 39% can only get work about half the time, and more than one in ten are being offered no work for weeks at a time.  (1)

Joint statement on Queen’s speech from ATL, ASCL, NAHT and NUT

21 JUNE 2017

Responding to the Queen’s Speech today and the announcement of the Government’s legislative programme for the next two years, ASCL, ATL, NAHT and NUT issued this joint statement:

“The Government is not listening to voters. The General Election campaign showed that education funding is a key priority for the electorate, with over three quarters of a million people changing the way they voted because of the issue.

NUT, FBU , ATL warn Government of current fire risks in schools

20 June 2017

Today the Fire brigades Union (FBU), National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers ( ATL ) have written to Justine Greening  seeking urgent reassurances about fire safety in schools in light of the tragic and avoidable fire at Grenfell Tower last week.

NUT very proud to have Amanda Brown elected onto ILO’s governing body

13 June 2017

Amanda Brown, NUT Assistant General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, has been elected onto the governing body of the International Labour Organisation, workers' group. This is the first time that a woman has been elected to this post from the UK trade union movement.

Letter to the Prime Minister from teaching unions

11 June 2017

This election has been a defining moment for education.

The Conservatives have already cut £2.8 billion from our schools and their manifesto promises a further £8.9 billion cut to school funding. We can’t let this happen.

The ATL, NAHT and the NUT have written to the Prime Minister asking for a meeting to discuss the school funding crisis in our schools.

 

School cuts a priority after the election

7 June 2017

The problems for our schools are very real and very immediate, ranging from no money for glue sticks right up to considering closing earlier in the day simply to save money. All parties should commit to tackling this growing crisis.

The joint union website www.schoolcuts.org.uk has been highlighting the extent of the problem. With 93% of schools affected by the current funding proposals, there is scarcely a school or sixth form in the land that won’t be worse off. Parents have been incredulous and dismayed at the begging letters for money or resources that head teachers have been forced to send out.  

This is no way to run an education system.

Amber Rudd admits on Woman’s Hour per-pupil funding in England will not go up

Amber Rudd admits on Woman’s Hour per-pupil funding in England will not go up

Commenting on Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s admission* that a Conservative Government will not increase per pupil funding in England, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

Birmingham schools set to lose nearly £95m

Teachers’ union unveils billboard on M6 setting out scale of education cuts to Birmingham schools

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) is today launching a billboard on Birmingham’s Spaghetti Junction warning of school cuts. Under Conservative plans, £94,086,361 will be taken out of Birmingham’s schools budget in real terms between now and 2021/22.

The www.schoolcuts.org.uk website reveals what the three main political party pledges on education funding will mean for education in England.

The Conservative education plans would result in an £8.9billion real terms cut in education by 2022 when taking into account inflation and growing pupil numbers.

new video from NUT revealing the scale of cuts went viral when launched just over a week ago. It has now been viewed over 4 million times.

NUT/YouGov Polls of Parents and Teachers Reveal Growing Crisis in Schools

Saturday 3 June 2017

Parents put education at the heart of the General Election. More than two in five (43%) parents with children aged 4-18 consider education and school funding as an important issue in deciding how they’ll vote.

  • 60% of teachers report increased class sizes since the last General Election in 2015
  • Over a third of teachers (36%) report that teacher numbers have decreased at their school in the last two years.
  • Over 3.5million watch NUT campaign video in just five days.

Election Promises On School Funding – Do The Party Pledges Cut It?

Sunday 28 May 2017

Today’s major relaunch of the School Cuts website shows what the manifestos of the main political parties will mean for every individual school in England. Building on recent analyses by the Institute of Fiscal Studies and the Education Policy Institute, the interactive map at http://www.schoolcuts.org.uk makes it possible to see what the party pledges look like at a local level, not just as national statistics.

With less than two weeks to the General Election this is a critical time for schools and colleges. We don’t know who will win the election but we do know what education funding will look like under each of the parties, should they be successful.

The ATL, NUT and GMB have updated the www.schoolcuts.org.uk website to reflect what the three main political party pledges on education funding will mean for education in England.

    Green Party Manifesto

    22 May 2017

    Commenting on the Green Party manifesto for the General Election, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “We welcome manifesto commitments from the Green Party, for education and young people, which chime with long-standing beliefs held by the NUT. The Greens offer clear, unambiguous pledges that would benefit pupils, parents and teachers alike.

    Labour’s Tuition Fees Pledge

    22 May 2017

    Commenting on the Labour Party announcement, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said: 

    “The National Union of Teachers welcomes the Labour Party's ‪commitment today that students starting university this September will escape tuition fees.

    Conservative Manifesto

    18 May 2017

    Commenting on the election manifesto published today by the Conservative Party, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “The Conservatives’ headline pledge to give £4 billion to schools is an inadequate response to the funding crisis and a misleading presentation. Instead they are actually promising to give only £1 billion per year, which is clearly not enough when schools are facing a £3bn real terms cut in their funding. In contrast the Liberal Democrats are pledging to put in £3 billion per year and Labour £6.3 billion per year by 2020/21. The difference is stark.

    Liberal Democrats’ Manifesto

    17 May 2017

    Commenting on the election manifesto published today by the Liberal Democrats, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said: 

    Teachers Leaving Profession

    16 May 2017

    Commenting on an analysis by the NFER, based on 2010/15 data, which shows that the proportion of teachers leaving the profession is as much as 1 in 10 for academic subjects such as science, maths and languages, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “Too many teachers feel overworked and undervalued - and growing numbers are leaving. Ministers remain in denial, and the problems of staffing are worsening year on year. Of the 21,400 teachers who started working in English state schools in 2010, over 6400 (30%) had quit by 2015. And for the fourth year in succession, targets for teacher training take-up have not been met.

    Labour Manifesto

    16 May 2017

    Commenting on the launch of the Labour Party manifesto for the 2017 General Election, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said: 

    “This manifesto puts down a marker on school funding and demonstrates that Labour is listening. The funding crisis affects 99% of schools and has forced head teachers to put banners up in playgrounds to alert parents to the risks of deep cuts and what it means for their child. 

    Unions ask Parliamentary candidates to pledge to raise school funding

    14 May 2017

    The NUT, ATL , NAHT and GMB are asking every candidate in every constituency in England and Wales to promise that they will address the funding crisis in our schools, which will see schools facing cuts of up to £3 billion a year by 2020.

    Liberal Democrats General Election School Funding Pledge

    10 May 2017

    Commenting on the additional funding for schools and colleges promised by the Liberal Democrats, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said: 

    “The Liberal Democrats’ promise of £7bn to protect per-pupil funding levels will be welcomed by parents and teachers. It shows that they are listening to the thousands of heads and parents who have been writing to Theresa May, highlighting the serious consequences of an underfunded education system. We await the details in their manifesto.

    Labour Party education funding promise

    10 May 2017

    Commenting on the Labour Party’s promise to put additional money into schools and colleges, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said: 

    “Parents and teachers will strongly welcome the fact that the Labour Party has grasped the enormity of the problem schools and colleges face through drastic real terms cuts to their budgets. 

    Primary Assessment – Select Committee Report

    1 May 2017

    Commenting on the report by the Commons Education Select Committee report Primary AssessmentKevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said: 

    MPs damning report into free schools

    26 April 2017

    Commenting on the report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) into free schools, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “The NUT has been raising the same concerns about free schools as the PAC report for years. The Government has wreaked havoc on the education system in England through its pursuit of this policy against all the evidence.

    Labour Party on class sizes and school funding

    21 April 2017

    Commenting on Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn’s speech, Amanda Brown, Assistant General Secretary, National Union of Teachers said:

    “Jeremy Corbyn is right that school funding is resulting in increased class sizes. It is also impacting negatively on the overall educational experience schools can afford to offer children and young people. All political parties need to be aware this will be a huge issue during the General Election.

    School Funding – Government must come clean before the Election

    20 April 2017

    Commenting on the crisis in school funding, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “As we are now entering in to a General Election, the time for half-truths about school funding is over. The National Funding Formula Stage 2 consultation for mainstream and special schools closed on 22 March. The NUT has written to Justine Greening asking for the publication of a summary of the responses.

    ‘Already we have head teachers resigning, sending begging letters to parents and  lobbying MPs and the Prime Minister on the disastrous effect a lack of funding is having on their pupils. The Education Secretary cannot go into this election without letting families know what will happen with the funding of their children’s schools. The NUT awaits a response to our letter.”

    Announcement of a General Election

    18 April 2017

    Commenting on the Prime Minister’s announcement of a general election, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “This country must have a Government that will invest in education. In the general election, we will press all parties to give commitments that if elected, they will invest and not cut education.  At the moment, Theresa May's Government has taken decisions which mean 99% of schools are going to lose funding. Teachers and parents will lobby vociferously to put school and sixth form college funding at the heart of this general election. Candidates must recognise what will happen to children's education if we make the £3billion worth of cuts a year that the National Audit Office has predicted.

    “Teachers are working longer hours than nearly every other country and our children are some of the unhappiest in the world. We must return a government that will talk and work properly with the profession so we can bring down teacher workload driven by excessive and damaging accountability and assessment measures. This would free up teachers to teach and would be in the best interests of our children and young people.

    “In the sixth richest nation in the world it is disgraceful that 4 million children are growing up in poverty. Child poverty levels are simply unacceptable. This weekend we revealed how many children are hungry and going without food. At the general election each party must pledge a real strategy to reduce child poverty, with children's centres and sure start in every town to ensure that every child has the best start in life.

    “Wasting money on grammar schools and free schools is nothing but a distraction from the real issues. This weekend the NUT has revealed that the current government has wasted £138.5 million on free schools. UTCs and studio schools that either closed, partially closed or failed to open. This money should be invested in the education of all children not just the few. 

    “There are over half a million teachers in the country. Politicians cannot afford to ignore their voices and their passionate ideas about what education needs. The NUT will be pressing every candidate in every constituency to pledge to stop cuts to schools in their constituency and elsewhere.” 

    Grammar Schools

    13 April 2017

    Commenting on the Education Secretary's announcement that grammar schools will help 'ordinary working families' , Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said;

    "At a time of a school funding and teacher recruitment and retention crisis it is ridiculous that Justine Greening is concentrating on the expansion of grammar schools. They will do nothing for social mobility; creating a raft of secondary modern schools in their wake and returning England to a two tier education system that was deemed unfit decades ago.

    Free Schools

    12 April 2017

    Commenting on the latest announcement from Government of approval for another 131 free schools to open in England, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “At a time when the majority of schools are struggling to survive the decision to pour tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers' money into free schools, for some to be sponsored by grammar schools is indefensible. Clearly the Government has no concern whatsoever about the hundreds of head teachers and the thousands of parents that have spoken out against school funding cuts.

    Schools having to prioritise cost-cutting over quality of children’s education - finds ATL/NUT survey

    10 April 2017

    Funding pressures are already biting in schools in England, affecting the quality of children’s education, and parents are being asked to make up the shortfall according to a joint survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and National Union of Teachers (NUT).

    One respondent, a teacher in a primary school in Essex, said: “Over the last two years, the ethos of the school has changed from being based on a family atmosphere to being driven by cost cutting”.

    Free School Meals

    6 April 2017

    Commenting on the Labour Party pledge to expand free school meals to every primary school pupil, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “This is a good idea from the Labour Party.  All too often teachers see the impact that hunger has on their pupils. It affects their concentration and ability to learn and their physical and mental health and wellbeing. The benefits of a healthy and nutritious school lunch are well documented and for the 4 million children living in poverty – nine pupils in every class of 30 – this may well be their main meal of the day. 

    “At a time when yet more families are affected by cuts to benefits, and in-work poverty is soaring, the cost of school lunches can be prohibitive. Universal free school meals would ensure that all children have a meal in the middle of the day, bringing health and educational benefits. It would reduce the stigma attached to free school meals and would cut down on administration for schools. While this initiative will make a big difference to the lives of pupils, all political parties need to commit to ensuring overall school budgets are increased to stem the funding crisis they are currently facing.”

    Supreme Court ruling on school term holidays

    6 April 2017

    Commenting on the ruling against the parent Jon Platt, who had won earlier legal battles against a £120 fine after a taking his child on holiday without permission, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “Parents generally do all they can to keep children in school and teachers want them to do that. However there will be occasions when families will have  a planned holiday in term time. This can be for a many reasons such as family commitments or parents unable to take leave in the school holidays.

    Fining parents is entirely the wrong route to be going down. Many parents will be able to afford the fine and it will not be a deterrent. This is yet another example of top down measures being imposed on schools causing unnecessary tensions between head teachers and families.

    Apprenticeship levy will push more school budgets to breaking point, warn education unions

    6 April 2017

    From today (Thursday 6th April) thousands of schools across the country will start to pay into the apprenticeship levy. The compulsory payment will have to be paid by most schools, with only small stand-alone academies exempt.

    Rochford Review

    31 March 2017

    Commenting on the consultation announced yesterday by the Department for Education on the final recommendations of the Rochford Review, about statutory assessment for pupils working below the standard of the national curriculum tests, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “The Government has put out two important consultations this week. Teachers now have 12 weeks to consider and comment on the changes proposed.

    Primary Assessment

    30 March 2017

    Commenting on the launch of a new consultation on primary assessment, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “Our current primary assessment system is broken. Almost 50% of 11 year olds were labelled failures last year as a result of badly designed and poorly implemented tests. Our members want a system that supports children to achieve their potential, gives useful information to parents and teachers and does not narrow the school curriculum.

    Public Accounts Committee’s damning report on school funding

    29 March 2017

    Commenting on the Commons Public Accounts Committee’s report Financial sustainability of schools, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “This is yet another nail in the coffin of the Government’s school funding policy.  It is quickly becoming the case that no one other than the Prime Minister believes that the school system can manage on existing funding, let alone absorb the impact of a new funding formula introduced alongside a cash freeze on school budgets.

    Free Schools

    28 March 2017

    Commenting on the creation of LocatED, a new public property company set up to purchase and develop sites to help create new free schools, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

    "This announcement is nothing new. It is, however, deeply despairing for teachers and parents. While the vast majority of existing schools are balanced on a financial cliff edge, the decision to pour yet more money into the completely discredited free schools project is nothing short of obscene.

    More than a score launches alternative to the discredited system of primary assessment

    29 March 2017

    Westminster Launch Today:

    6 PM WEDNESDAY 29TH MARCH

    MAURICE BARNETT ROOM, CENTRAL HALL WESTMINSTER, STOREY'S GATE, LONDON SW1H 9NH

    SPEAKERS:

    Madeleine Holt - Rescue our Schools
    David Reedy - United Kingdom Literacy Association
    Nancy Stewart - TACTYC, Association for Professional Development in Early Years
    Anne Swift - President, National Union of Teachers

    Historic step forward: ATL and NUT to form a new union

    22 March 2017

    Today, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) announced that members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining to form a new union*. The union will be called the National Education Union.
    The National Education Union will come into existence on 1 September 2017 with over 450,000 members, representing the majority of teachers and providing a powerful voice for the whole education profession, including support staff, lecturers and leaders working in state-funded and independent schools and colleges. It will be the fourth largest trade union in the UK and the biggest union of teachers and education professionals in Europe.

    Education Policy Institute (EPI) on cuts to school budgets

    17 March 2017

    Commenting on the findings of the EPI’s report, The Implications of the National Funding Formula for schools, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “The EPI recognises the fact that a combination of the National Funding Formula and the cash freeze on school budgets will have a negative impact on schools.

    Budget Speech

    8 March 2017

    Commenting on the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s speech, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “This budget is a complete dereliction of duty to our children and young people. The Chancellor knows full well that schools and sixth form colleges up and down the country are on their knees struggling to make ends meet.

    Ofsted Short Inspections

    7 March 2017

    Commenting on a reliability study of short inspections, published by Ofsted, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “This is a thorough and honest report from Ofsted which seeks to examine the reliability of its short inspections for ‘good’ schools that were introduced in September 2015. As Ofsted itself points out, it was neither an evaluation of the validity of Ofsted inspections, nor was it a reliability indicator of full section 5 inspections.*

    School Funding

    7 March 2017

    Commenting on the Chancellor’s preview of an ‘investment boost’ for schools in Wednesday’s Budget Speech, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “The Government is clearly in denial. It is astonishing that they persist with the claim that they are protecting the core school budgets when the truth is that funding per pupil is being cut in real terms with schools set to lose £3billion per year by 2020.

    NUT/CPAG figures show Government school funding proposals will hit schools with the poorest children hardest

    3 March 2017

    New research by NUT and Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) using DfE data shows that, under current Government school funding policy, the 1,000 schools with the highest number of children with free school meals are facing much higher cuts in funding per pupil than schools generally.

    Sex and Relationship Education in schools

    1 March 2017

    Commenting on the Government’s proposal on Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) in schools: Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said:

    “It is really positive that the Government plans to make SRE compulsory in all schools, and to consult about what support schools need. There is a consensus within the profession that SRE should be statutory because of the benefits for children and young people. The NUT has been at the heart of the campaign to achieve the proper status for this vital subject.

    Secondary school place allocation

    1 March 2017

    Commenting on the day parents are told of their child’s secondary school place allocation Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “We hope that parents and children get the secondary school place of choice. We know, however, for many this will not be the case resulting in children being separated from siblings or primary school friends and for some will result in travelling longer distances. Such anxiety at this important stage in children’s education is unnecessary.

    Race in the workplace review

    1 March 2017

    Commenting on the McGregor Smith Review, The Time for Talking is Over, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers said:

    “The NUT welcomes the publication of this review on race in the workplace, to which we were privileged to contribute. It accurately reflects the aspirations of Black and Minority Ethnic workers and job seekers. 

    Teach First

    1 March 2017

    Commenting on a Teach First report on the hurdles facing children from disadvantaged backgrounds, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers' union, said:

    "Teach First are right to point out that poverty does have a negative impact on children's educational achievement. Poverty blights children's and parents lives and is a problem that successive Governments have failed to address. It is this failure that is the elephant in the room of every education debate.

    Sutton Trust Report on School Admissions

    1 March 2017

    Commenting on the Sutton Trust report, Selective Comprehensives 2017, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union said:

    “The NUT does not share the Sutton Trust’s view that school quality can be judged solely by GCSE or Progress 8 scores. Most schools work extremely hard to provide pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum that includes a wide, interesting and challenging set of subjects, many of which are not included in these measures. Schools take seriously their pastoral role and their responsibility to support the development of young people who can meet the challenges of the 21st century, both in the workplace and in wider society.

    Multi-Academy Trusts

    28 February 2017

    In response to the Commons Education Select Committee report, published today, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary, National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    “This thorough and thoughtful report from the Education Select Committee will make for uncomfortable reading for the Secretary of State for Education, her Ministers and the Department.

    UTCs and STEM

    28 February 2017

    In response to the Baker Dearing Educational Trust report From school work to real work, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary, National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

    "The NUT acknowledges that both the provision of vocational education within schools and the careers advice on offer have been marginalised within schools. The NUT supports a reformed, unified system of 14-19 curriculum and qualifications which helps bring an end to the notion that academic and technical learning pathways are an ‘either/or’ option. However, the move towards more ‘academic’ GCSEs and A Levels directly hinders this aspiration.

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