Press releases - England

This is an archive of NUT press releases. NEU press releases are here.

For current media and press enquiries, please contact the National Education Union press office.

Direct Line: 0207 380 4706

Out of hours: 07879 480 061

Email: press@neu.org.uk

If you have media enquiries that are specific to Northern Ireland or Wales, please use the following phone numbers:

Wales: 02920 491 818

Northern Ireland: 02890 782 020

England

Government school exclusion figures

21 July 2016

Commenting on the latest Department of Education statistics on permanent and fixed exclusions, 2014-2015, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: 

“These figures, showing a third consecutive annual rise in the rate of exclusions, should prompt the Government to investigate and attempt to understand the effect  current education policy is having on children and young people.

School funding formula for schools to be delayed

21 July 2016

Commenting on the latest announcement from the Education Secretary, Justine Greening, that the new funding formula for schools will apply from 2018/19, a year later than planned, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said:

Leading education organisations call on the Government to increase school and college funding

20 July 2016

ASCL, ATL, NAHT, NUT and Voice have joined together to release a statement on education funding. The statement reads as follows:

“All of our organisations believe that school funding needs to be increased as a matter of urgency. The Government is instead freezing per pupil funding for maintained schools and academies, and at the same time loading additional costs onto them such as higher employer national insurance and pension contributions. Schools and academies are also facing increased financial pressures as a result of recent government reforms to assessment, curriculum and qualifications. Teachers and school leaders fear for the future of their pupils' education.

NUT elects new General Secretary

15 July 2016

Kevin Courtney has been elected as the twelfth General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union in Europe.

Under Union rules, Mr Courtney takes over immediately from Christine Blower, who stood down in May after seven years as General Secretary.

In welcoming his election success, Mr Courtney paid tribute to the other candidate, Ms Beth Davies, for the conduct of the election.

Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said:

“This is an extraordinary honour. General Secretary of the NUT is one of the most important jobs in education and I am proud to be taking on that role. I will work tirelessly to achieve an education system that recognizes all our children’s strengths and respects and recognises the incredible job that teachers do.

Justine Greening appointed Education Secretary

14 July 2016

Commenting on the appointment, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said;

"We congratulate Justine Greening on her appointment as the new Secretary of State for Education.

Free Schools

12 July 2016

Commenting on David Cameron’s announcement of the approval of 31 new free schools, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“It is perhaps fitting that David Cameron’s final action as Prime Minister was to announce the approval of a further 31 free schools, a scheme originally borne out of his long-forgotten dream of a Big Society. Free schools have in fact undermined localism and are now overwhelmingly being set up by academy chains rather than by local parents or teachers. Indeed, his Government has made every effort to drive the parental voice out of academies as well.”

Professional Development for Teachers

12 July 2016

Commenting on guidance issued today by the Department for Education concerning Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for teachers, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"In 2010, Michael Gove's White Paper on The Importance of Teaching promised a 'highly effective' system of support for professional development. Six years later, the Department that he headed has managed to publish some proposals.

NUT calls for Nicky Morgan’s resignation

10 July 2016

After this year’s SATs debacle, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: ‘This year 47% of children will be told they haven't reached the "expected" standard in at least one of their SATs papers. Last year this figure was only 15%. This is extraordinarily demoralising for children who are just about to make the big step up to secondary school. They have been told they haven't reached the expected standard to start secondary school.

Chain Effects – Sutton Trust report on academy chains

July 7 2016

Commenting on the publication of Chain Effects 2016, the third report by the Sutton Trust in the longitudinal analysis on the performance of academy chains, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“This comprehensive analysis provides the final nail in the coffin for the Government’s key education policy. The finding that a majority of chains in the study ‘are achieving results that are not improving and may be harming the prospects of their disadvantaged students’ should cause Nicky Morgan, and her predecessor Michael Gove, to hang their heads in shame.

Amanda Spielman rejected by Education Select Committee as next Ofsted Chief

7 July 2016

Commenting on the Commons Education Select Committee’s decision not to support the appointment of Amanda Spielman as successor to Sir Michael Wilshaw at Ofsted, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

STRB on Teachers’ Pay

6 July 2016

Commenting on the publication of the STRB’s recommendations on teachers’ pay for 2016/17, including a 1% increase, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The Government has been told in the clearest terms by the STRB that its misguided policy of cutting teachers’ pay is damaging our schools.

Strike 5 july

5 July 2016

Commenting after a day of strike action across England, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“This has been a very well supported strike, both by NUT members and the general public. We thank all those parents who have supported us despite the inconvenience it may have caused.

SATs

5 July 2016

Commenting on today’s SATs results, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Today schools find out how their pupils have performed in Key Stage 2 tests, and the DfE publishes its figures on the percentage of pupils reaching what it has decided is the expected standard in the core subjects of Maths and English.

Show Racism the Red Card

4 July 2016

Christine Blower & Leroy Rosenior appointed Vice Presidents of Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC)

Christine Blower, the former General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and Leroy Rosenior, former West Ham United player have both agreed to become Vice Presidents of Show Racism the Red Card and support the organisation with the ongoing development of anti-racism educational programmes.

NUT comment on EBacc

4 July 2016

Commenting ahead of today’s EBacc debate at Westminster Hall, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The National Union of Teachers welcomes the Westminster Hall debate on the Government’s English Baccalaureate. The NUT shares the concerns of those across the education service about EBacc’s narrow and prescriptive nature and the marginalisation of creative, artistic and technical learning.

End the deadly asbestos gamble – Protect children and staff by removing asbestos from our schools

1 July 2016

On Sunday 26 June yet another teacher tragically died of the asbestos cancer mesothelioma. Sue Stephens was a primary school teacher in Buckinghamshire for almost 30 years. Her daughter, Lucie Stephens, is calling for the removal of asbestos from schools to be her legacy.

On Action Mesothelioma Day 2016 (today), the Joint Union Asbestos Committee (JUAC) is calling upon the Government to prioritise the removal of asbestos from all schools and colleges.

Letter to Nicky Morgan from the National Union of Teachers

28 June 2016

The NUT has written today to the Education Secretary* outlining the reasons for the strike and asking for meaningful discussions to resolve the issues that are negatively affecting education.

Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the NUT said:

“No teacher finds taking strike action easy but the situation in our schools needs to be urgently addressed. School budgets are being cut to the bone.

NUT strike and response to DfE

23 June 2016

Responding to statements made by the Department for Education following the announcement of the NUT national strike in England schools on 5 July, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The Department for Education is being entirely disingenuous when it says that our action is about levels of pay. The NUT is taking strike action in response to the funding crisis in our schools, which is impacting on teachers’ terms and conditions and children’s education.

NUT Ballot Result

23 June 2016

Today, the NUT announced that members in England have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action to protect pay and working conditions. In the NUT’s ballot, 91.7% voted in favour of strike action.

The NUT is calling the first day of strike action on 5 July. The strike demands are to increase funding to schools and education, guarantee terms and conditions in all types of schools, and to resume negotiations on teacher contracts to allow workload to be addressed.


Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT is not taking action lightly. In light of the huge funding cuts to schools, worsening terms and conditions, and unmanageable and exhausting workloads, teachers cannot be expected to go on without significant change.

The Crisis in Primary Assessment - NUT Survey

20 June 2016

All figures are from the results of an NUT survey of 6,613 primary school teachers and head teachers, conducted in the week of 16 May 2016, following this year's Key Stage 2 SATs.

This survey paints a troubling picture of the chaotic, inappropriate and limiting nature of the Government's assessment regime in primary schools. The comments made by teachers tell of a system of assessment that is badly managed and harming children's education.

Nicky Morgan recommends next Chief Inspector

10 June 2016

Commenting on Nicky Morgan's recommendation of Amanda Spielman to be the next Chief Inspector of Ofsted, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"To have as the new Chief Inspector of Ofsted a person who has no teaching experience and who is heavily implicated in the academy programme certainly does call into question both their suitability and impartiality for the job. It is a sad indictment of this Government's attitude to education that they place such little value on the experience of teachers and head teachers, that they would not consider such a background necessary for the Chief Inspector's role."

The UN says UK development aid to commercial private schools could violate children’s rights

10 June 2016

(London, 10 June 2016) In an unprecedented statement made public on 9 June 2016, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) expressed concerns about the UK “funding of low-fee, private and informal schools run by for-profit business enterprises” through its development aid as it could have been contributing to violating children’s rights in recipient countries.

Ofsted Commentary on Most Able Pupils

10 June 2016

Reacting to today’s commentary by Sir Michael Wilshaw, the Chief Inspector of Schools, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Sir Michael Wilshaw’s extraordinary attack on schools and teachers seems designed to distract attention from the real challenges that education faces from the Government which has caused them.

“In criticising schools in the north and the Midlands, Sir Michael also appears to have forgotten his remarks in February this year about the recruitment challenges facing schools and the impact this was having. Nearly three-quarters of heads leading schools serving disadvantaged communities who were polled by Ofsted told the inspectorate that they were struggling to get good staff. In response, Sir Michael stated 'we are simply not attracting enough new entrants into the profession and those we do attract are not applying to schools where they are needed most. This is having a detrimental impact on schools right across the country but particularly those located in more deprived, unfashionable and isolated areas.'

Training New Teachers

10 June 2016

Commenting on Training new teachers, the report by the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Today’s report sums up the message that the world of education has been sending the Department for Education since 2011: it is a serious mistake to undermine the established system of teacher training without having a coherent alternative to put in its place.

Ofsted on East Midlands

7 June 2016

Commenting on Ofsted’s criticisms of East Midlands schools, published in an open letter today, Kevin Courtney, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Sir Michael Wilshaw’s sweeping statements do no justice to the hard work of teachers and pupils, often in very difficult circumstances. The Chief Inspector criticises Local Authorities but nowhere takes into account the fact that, in the case of academies and free schools, it is almost impossible for local authorities to monitor schools’ performance or to intervene when issues arise.

Queen’s Speech: Government perilously out of touch on education policy

18 May 2016

Commenting on the Queen's Speech, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"This Government has signalled its determination to pursue, without a mandate or evidence base, the goal of engineering all schools to move to academy status within six years. (1)

Joint Statement about the Government’s plans for all schools to become academies – AEP/ATL/NAHT/NUT/Unison

16 May 2016

We welcome the Secretary of State for Education’s announcement that she will not at present legislate to force all schools in England to become academies. We are pleased the Government has listened to the concerns raised by education unions, governors, MPs, councillors and parents.

The Government has, however, reiterated that it wants all schools to become academies and will force them to do so if they are in local authorities that it determines to be no longer ‘viable’ or to be ‘underperforming’.

RIBA on school buildings

11 May 2016

Commenting on Better Spaces for Learning, RIBA’s report into the state of school buildings, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The fact that so many schools require refurbishment and repairs is the fault of this Government and its predecessor. Capital spending on schools and colleges has been cut by over one-third in real-terms since 2010. The Coalition Government scrapped the Building Schools for the Future programme in 2010, cancelling 700 building projects, and its replacement Priority School Building Project has a fraction of the funding. Most schools that applied to that project were not successful and not all of those that were will be rebuilt or fully refurbished.

ChildLine on exam stress

11 May 2016

Commenting on statistics released by ChildLine, showing a rise in the number of schoolchildren worried about exam stress, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Teachers see very clearly the effect of stress on students and are reporting exam stress amongst school children from primary school upwards. Many relate it to the joyless exam factory approach this Government has towards education and the high-stakes nature of testing.

NUT meeting with Nick Gibb, calling for end to SATs chaos

10 May 2016

The NUT is meeting the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, tomorrow for a scheduled bilateral meeting. We will hand him scores of comments from parents and teachers about Monday’s Key Stage 2 reading test. We will also seek clarity on:

SATs in total chaos

10 May 2016

Commenting on the news of the latest leaked Spag paper, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“This latest leak of questions and answers for today’s Spag test are a disaster for children, teachers and schools. After months of confusion and mismanagement, they mark the dismal culmination of a dreadful year for primary pupils and their teachers. They constitute an experience which must never be repeated; those who have engineered it must be held to account.

“Yesterday’s reading test dramatically revealed the utter inappropriateness of the DfE’s conception‎ of age-appropriate primary education, compared with the interests, knowledge and capabilities of learners – even those judged to be above ability.

DfE u-turn on forced academies

6 May 2016

Commenting on the Government's climb-down over forced academies in England, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"This is a huge Government climb-down and is a testament to the campaigning of teachers and parents. Within a week of the White Paper being published demonstrations occurred across the country organised by NUT members. Two petitions calling for a halt to the proposal to force all schools to become academies reached 150,000 signatures each, and 200 parents met at the NUT headquarters. This was an unprecedented outcry.

"This is the third major education u-turn by Government. In a month we have seen baseline scrapped, SPaG Key Stage 1 tests scrapped and now the central plank of the White Paper, forced academies. This is a clear indication that Government policy is in tatters. Nicky Morgan needs to stop and talk to the profession to work out a clear way forward. It is time to end this ideological nonsense from this discredited Government. They need to start adopting the right priorities for education by talking to the profession. They should not take extra powers to force all schools in specified local authorities to become academies. The 8% cuts to budgets that schools are facing need to be reversed. This is a huge concern as it will impact on every school and every child."

The education of over 2,000 young people disrupted by collapse of 22 Government-promoted schools

6 May 2016

Over 2,300 young people have had their education disrupted and faced moving school following the collapse of 22 Government-promoted free schools,[1] university technical colleges (UTCs)[2] or studio schools.[3]

Announcing the opening of these new types of school, former Education Secretary Michael Gove said the Government had “encouraged the blossoming of a rich, diverse ecosystem” in education.[4]

Letter to Nicky Morgan: Key Stage 1 and 2 tests broken

2 May 2016

Letter to Nicky Morgan: Key Stage 1 and 2 tests broken
 
The NUT has written to the Secretary of State for Education calling for immediate action. The letter to Nicky Morgan is attached.

Lobby of Pearson AGM

28 April 2016

The National Union of Teachers, alongside a number of teaching unions from Europe, Africa and the United States, and global justice NGOs, will be attending the Annual General Meeting of the education and publishing company Pearson on Friday, 29 April.

Nicky Morgan suggested ‘U Turn’ on forced academies

25 April 2016

Commenting on reports in the media today that Nicky Morgan may be considering a U turn of sorts on the White Paper, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Nicky Morgan is clearly rattled by the groundswell of opposition to plans to force all schools to form or join multi-academy trusts (MATs) by 2022. While the full details of the possible U Turn are not clear, there is a suggestion that the Secretary of State might announce that the ‘best performing’ Local Authorities could establish their own MATs.

NUT letter to Nicky Morgan: Where is the evidence for the Government’s forced academisation plans?

22 April 2016

The Government’s proposal to turn all schools in England into academies has been met with dismay from parents, teachers, local authorities, governors, and many Conservative MPs and councillors.

These proposals are being put forward in a White Paper despite a pronounced lack of evidence that forcing a school to become an academy improves standards.

On 23 March the NUT wrote to the Secretary of State for Education asking a set of questions about the evidence base. Nicky Morgan has now responded but the reply received does not address the questions raised, and again provides no evidence to justify the policy.

Minister forced to cancel primary school spelling test

22 April 2016

Commenting on the news that Schools Minister Nick Gibb has cancelled the Key Stage 1 spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) tests after their accidental publication online by the Standards and Testing Agency, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Following the government's U-turn over the baseline assessment‎ of reception children, this is another blow to an assessment system which is over-centralised, mismanaged and incapable of supporting children's learning.

Gateshead Council opposes Education White Paper

21 April 2016

Gateshead Council have become the latest in a number of local authorities to stand up against the Government’s ludicrous idea of forcing all schools in England to become academies. A motion put to councillors noted that the Government’s White Paper Educational Excellence Everywhere “is a complete distraction from the very real problems facing schools and parents”.

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

Primary school tests accidentally published on line

21 April 2016

Commenting on the accidental publication earlier this month of key stage 1 spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) tests online by the Standards and Testing Agency, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

David Cameron, misleading parents and public on school funding

20 April 2016

Commenting on David Cameron’s statement on school funding during PMQs today, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“David Cameron at PMQs today said that he was protecting pupil funding. This is hugely misleading to parents and the public. According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies* (IFS), over the next few years schools in England will lose 8% or more of their real terms funding due to inflation and higher costs. This will be the largest real-terms fall over any period since at least the late 1970s.

Sexual Violence in Schools

19 April 2016

Commenting on the launch of a Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into the scale and impact of sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Young people are subjected to ever-increasing pressure from the media and social media to conform to certain behaviour in relation to sexual activity, often in ways they find disturbing or unacceptable. Teachers are aware of the struggle many students go through as a result of this pressure, but much is unreported.

Primary school places

18 April 2016

Commenting on the primary school place offers received by parents today (Monday), Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Securing a school place for your child should be a straightforward and anxiety free process. Due to the complete negligence of Government, however, it is not and many parents will be disappointed today.

IFS report on school funding

15 April 2016

Commenting on the Institute for Fiscal Studies report on school funding, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

Sutton Trust calls for change to ‘highly socially selective’ primary school admissions

15 April 2016

Commenting on the Sutton Trust’s research brief Caught Out, highlighting the complexities and discrepancies in primary school admission processes, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“It is important that every child, from whatever background,  has access to a local school which draws a balanced intake from across the local community reflecting all backgrounds and levels of ability.

MPs find children starting school underweight, hungry and anaemic

15 April 2016

Commenting on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger’s report Britain’s not- so- hidden hunger, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

Unions welcome Parliamentary debate on forced academies

12 April 2016

The ATL, NAHT and the NUT are pleased that the Labour Party has secured a debate in Parliament tomorrow (13 April) on the Government’s plans for the forcible transfer of 17,000 schools to academy status. Under the White Paper’s plans, parents could also be banished from school governing boards and left without a voice in their children’s schools or any say over who runs them.

This was not a proposition the Conservatives felt confident enough in to put into their General Election manifesto. Within days of the announcement protests against the proposals were held up and down the country. Two petitions to Government calling for an end of the forced academies policy reached their target of 100,000 signatures in less than a week. This is a clear indication that the general public does not believe these reforms are wanted or needed.

Government’s testing programme is not built to last

8 April 2016

Commenting on reports that baseline assessment has been dropped by Government following a comparability study, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“We welcome ministers’ decision to abandon the introduction of baseline assessment of reception age children. The flaws in the scheme’s design were well known to Early Years educators, and were pointed out to the Department for Education when it first consulted on the scheme. The attempt to make baseline work has cost millions, has prevented children from settling into their school and increased the workload of their teachers.

Baseline Assessment

7 April 2016

Commenting on the abandonment of baseline assessment by the Department for Education, following a comparability study, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT has already congratulated the schools who chose not to inflict baseline assessment on thousands of children this year.

Protests across the country against Government’s forced academy plans

23 March 2016

This afternoon and into the evening, rallies* are being held across England to send a clear message to Government that their plans to force all schools to become academies are neither needed nor wanted. Lucy Powell, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, will be among those speaking at the London rally. The rallies are also supported by ATL.

Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

NUT/ATL London rally against forced academies 23 March

22 March 2016

NUT and ATL members across London are organising a rally this Wednesday (23 March) to voice their concerns about the Government’s plans to convert all schools to academies

Schools White Paper

17 March 2016

Commenting on the publication of Educational Excellence Everywhere, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The White Paper does nothing to address the pressing issues that are distorting education provision in England.

Budget

16 March 2016

Responding to today's Budget Speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

Schools in England to be forced to become academies

15 March 2016

Commenting on reports in the media that all schools in England will be forced to convert to an academy, in a schools white paper set to be announced this week, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

NUT wins court case to go ahead with sixth form college strike

14 March 2016

The Governments challenge to the NUT’s 6th form College strike has been defeated today in the High Court. The strike action will now be going ahead tomorrow, Tuesday 15 March. Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

Ofsted on Multi-Academy Trusts

10 March 2016

Commenting on publication by Ofsted of the letter detailing the outcome of the focused inspection of SPTA academies and the advice note from HMCI to the Secretary of State for Education raising his concerns about the findings from the focused inspections of a sample of academies in seven of the largest multi academy trusts (MATs), Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

Department for Education ‘Clarification’ on KS1/KS2 Assessment

9 March 2016

Commenting on the detailed set of clarifications from the DfE, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

‘In response to teachers’ anger and dismay at the content and the conduct of the assessment of primary school pupils, ministers have issued a further ‘Clarifications’ statement. That this should be necessary says much about the mismanagement of the assessment process. Ministers demand high performance from schools, but are always willing to set lower standards for themselves.

National Funding Formula

7 March 2016

Commenting on plans announced today for a National Funding Formula for schools, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"The Government's so-called 'fair funding' proposals will impose huge funding cuts on many schools unless additional funding is made available.

NUT survey highlights the urgency for the new London Mayor to address affordable housing for teachers and children

7 March 2016

Ahead of the Mayoral elections, a survey by the National Union of Teachers of young teacher members in London (1) reveals 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. Living in London is no longer a sustainable, long-term option for teachers.

Exorbitant housing costs are creating a teacher shortage crisis that will hit every school and college in London.

NUT London Manifesto and Hustings

7 March 2016

Ahead of the 5 May elections for Mayor and London Assembly, the National Union of Teachers is today launching its Manifesto for London’s schools and colleges.

Funding cuts? Teacher shortages? Poverty and inequality? School places? Affordable housing? Education matters for London, and we can be sure that teachers and parents from across the capital will be prioritising those issues at the ballot box.

ASCL / Policy Exchange report into recruitment and retention of teachers

4 March 2016

Commenting on a series of essays by Policy Exchange and ASCL suggesting that schools should take prime responsibility for recruitment and retention of staff, and for greater flexibility in the system regarding employment of teachers in particular women, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

"Teaching is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best, most rewarding professions anyone could hope to do but there is absolutely no escaping from the fact that the Government is making the job unnecessarily difficult and even unmanageable for many. It is the job of those representing teachers to highlight these issues. 

NUT sixth form colleges strike

29 February 2016

NUT sixth form college members have voted overwhelmingly for strike action. The ballot, which closed today, showed 86% of members in favour of action on a 44% turnout. The day of action will be Tuesday, 15 March.

Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

NUT comment on LGA and lack of secondary school places

26 February 2016

Commenting on the Local Government Association’s concerns about a lack of secondary school place places, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“We have a school places crisis which is entirely of the Government’s making.

Baseline tests could be scrapped

26 February 2016

Commenting on reports in Schools Week that Baseline assessment could be scrapped over comparability concerns, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

Ofsted on school performance in the North

23 February 2016

Commenting on remarks made by Sir Michael Wilshaw about the performance of schools in Manchester and Liverpool, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“This is the usual bluster from the Chief Inspector, making yet another unhelpful intervention with rhetoric rather than evidence, and a selective, politicised use of data.

Nick Gibb response to KS1/2 chaos

19 February 2016

Commenting on Nick Gibb’s letter in which he responds to concerns about the timetable and requirements of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 assessment for 2015/16, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT has described the new curriculum and assessment arrangements for 2016 as a bad plan, chaotically implemented.

“Nick Gibb’s announcement does something, though not nearly enough, to address the chaos. The plan remains in place, and will do damage to the learning of many children.

“Mr Gibb has announced that he will no longer require teacher assessment of pupil work to be formally submitted at an earlier date than in 2015. This will go some way to reducing the pressure on teachers, but it remains the case that, having only been informed of assessment frameworks half way through the school year, they will struggle against time and against the pressures of workload, to submit the assessments required.

Troops to Teachers

18 February 2016

Commenting on missed targets for the Troops to Teachers training programme, which saw just 28 ex-Forces staff qualify to teach over the last Parliament, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“It has long been known that the headline-grabbing rhetoric of Troops to Teachers would not and has not translated into significant numbers entering the profession. This is by no means a reflection of ex-Forces personnel. The NUT has always held that applicants who feel they can bring a commitment to teaching are welcome to train for the profession.

Primary schools in chaos and despair with new KS1and KS2 assessments

17 February 2016

Commenting on the new assessment system devised by the Department for Education for reading, writing and maths at Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2), Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT have condemned the Government’s new assessment requirements as being wholly unachievable by teachers, and is calling for this year’s SATs to be abandoned.

Teachers question accuracy of baseline assessment – ATL/NUT survey

12 February 2016

Baseline assessment does not accurately reflect what four-year-olds can do and disrupts their start to school when many are in education for the first time, according to research* carried out for ATL and the NUT by UCL Institute of Education.

Teachers also do not think the assessment provides much valuable information about their new pupils.

Sex Education in schools

10 February 2016

Commenting on Nicky Morgan’s refusal to make personal, social and health education (PSHE) and sex and relationships education (SRE) mandatory in schools, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

'The NUT is astonished and dismayed at the Government’s decision to reject the Education Select Committee’s recommendation that PSHE education should become a statutory subject in schools.

Training New Teachers

10 February 2016

Commenting on the National Audit Office's statement on recruiting and training new teachers, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"The fact that Government has missed its recruitment figures for the past four years is a sad indictment of the effect their education policies are having on the profession.

Ofsted on E-ACT

9 February 2016

Commenting on the findings of Ofsted’s ‘focused inspection’ of seven E-ACT academies, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Time and again reports are released which show that academy status has no direct link with good outcomes for young people. Academy conversion is not a school improvement strategy and claiming this to parents and voters is deeply misleading. This latest letter from Ofsted shows that to claim that academy conversion is a prerequisite for school success is not a tenable policy position.

Police and Crime Commissioners to set up free schools

5 February 2016

Commenting on the Home Secretary’s suggestion that PCCs should be given the powers to set up free schools to support ‘troubled children’, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“This is quite an extraordinary suggestion by the Home Secretary. Aside from the fact that this Government continually makes the mistake in believing that anyone can run schools, they are also cutting funding and support to Pupil Referral Units. PRUs support the very children and young people these new free schools are purported to be created for. This makes neither economic nor logical sense.

Performance related pay is adding to teachers’ workloads and cutting their pay – ATL/NUT survey

Friday 5 February

Performance related pay (PRP) is adding to teachers’ workloads, according to findings published today by ATL and NUT from a joint survey of more than 10,000 teachers.

The survey also shows that many teachers are being denied progression on the pay scales under the new system and many more are encountering delays in finding out whether they will receive a pay increase. Government advice to schools is being routinely disregarded, with 90% of teachers denied progression saying they had had no warning that might happen.

Lucy Powell Speech

4 February 2016

Commenting on the Shadow's Education Secretary's speech in which she criticises 'curriculum by ministerial diktat' and calls for a national conversation about the challenges facing schools, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"This is a welcome recognition from Lucy Powell that it is not ministers alone who should decide school policy. Our education system has suffered massively over the past few years from a level of interference by Government that is unprecedented and ill informed. Teachers have had to endure the chaos of constant curriculum and assessment changes. The increase in workload which this has generated is a contributing factor to the present teacher recruitment and retention crisis.

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