Cancel the tests

Dear colleague

This year’s reforms to Key Stage 1 and 2 assessment are confused and chaotic. They will place unreasonable and unbearable demands on already overburdened teachers and will also put intolerable pressure on children and schools.

The NUT rejects these proposals, which completely contradict Nicky Morgan’s commitment last year to allow greater lead-in times and to consider workload issues before introducing changes.

I’m asking you to write to your MP to let them know the impact that these ill-thought out and poorly implemented reforms would have on you, your school and the children you teach. Click here to send the NUT’s model letter to your MP – you can personalise or add to it if you wish.

You can read more about the NUT’s response on our website here.

With key requirements for teacher assessment released only last week – half way through the academic year – and the expected standards suddenly raised to well above those of previous years, primary teachers are understandably worried about the situation. The NUT will do all it can, with your support, to resolve the situation and will keep you informed as matters progress.

Yours sincerely

CHRISTINE BLOWER
NUT General Secretary

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Southwark teachers: help kill The Housing Bill

Dear all,
I’m forwarding the latest from the Kill the Housing Bill Campaign, but before I do so please look at this Observer/Guardian online article today on Pay to Stay and the very good Camden campaign meeting:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/13/pay-to-stay-tenants-say-policy-punishes-working

Solidarity,
Tanya, Chair Southwark Defend Council Housing

Kill the Housing Bill – secure homes for all

Campaigning is gearing up with some brilliant meetings this week, and more news coverage of the Housing Bill (see links below). Packed meetings in Islington and Camden (north London) both set up local Kill the Housing Bill groups and are organising stalls, leafletting, posters and an estates road show.
The Housing Bill is now going through the House of Lords, with over 300 amendments tabled – see Bill progress A report of the Campaign evidence to the Lords will now go to all Lords and to MPs. Get in touch if you can help email more Lords, and please send the Report of evidence out to your contact lists, members and local media: Kill the Housing Bill evidence to the Lords

Support is growing fast for the 13 March national march against the Housing Bill, for secure homes and rent controls. Here’s a poster and leaflet ( to be updated this week). Latest supporters include Unison trade union, Morning Star newspaper and Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers. The leader of Camden Council said this week: ‘Everyone should go on this march’. Join and invite people on Facebook:
National Demo: March For Homes – Against The Housing Bill

And share or circulate the on line petition – get in touch if you want print copies of this, or leaflets and posters.

Our next organising meeting is Monday 22nd Feb 7pm (venue to be confirmed) – please send in reports and suggestions even if you can’t get along.

Keep spreading the word – let’s beat this Bill!
Eileen Short
for Kill the Housing Bill campaign

Useful Links and Info
Islington Kill the Housing Bill organising meeting Mon 15 Feb 7pm Room 3 Islington Town Hall
Kill the Housing Bill: Report of Evidence to the Lords
Poster: Join the march 13 March
Leaflet : Kill the Housing Bill
Facebook: Kill the Housing Bill – secure homes for all and National Demo: March For Homes – Against The Housing Bill
News reports: see Observer Guardian BBC ITV 24 dash Islington Tribune

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Emergency rally on Weds – save the NHS from Jeremy Hunt

Emergency Rally, ‘Not Without a Fight, Save Our NHS – Support the Junior Doctors!’

Wednesday 17 February, 6:30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
(Tube: Holborn)
REGISTER your place
INVITE your friends on facebook

Speakers include:
Yannis Gourtsoyannis – BMA Junior Doctors Committee
Danielle Tiplady – Student Nurse Bursary or Bust Campaign
Vanessa Redgrave – Actress
Ken Loach – Filmaker
Francesca Martinez – Comedian
More to be announced…

REGISTER your place

The government’s shameful announcement that they are going to impose the unsafe junior doctors contract, was met by outrage in all sections of society.

This came after historic strike action from Junior Doctrors against the new contracts. One of the strongest strike turnouts in years, with overwhelming support from the general public and walk outs from NHS Students and teaching staff in solidarity.

This is a campaign that is uniting all NHS workers and must unite us all behind them. If the Junior Doctors are going to win they will need our support. Their fight is our fight.

But this isn’t just about the doctors, this is about a determined attack on the NHS by a government intent on privatisation, intent on destroying the unions, intent on continuing it’s vicious austerity policies.

See you there!

The People’s Assembly Against Austerity
http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/
The People’s Assembly Against Austerity · United Kingdom
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Heart unions week – how to get involved

Heartunions week is next week (8-14 Feb), Are you ready?

What are you doing to celebrate heartunions week? Here are a few last minute updates and information to help you prepare for next week. We want to make this a big celebration to highlight the great work done by you and other union reps and members in our workplaces.

Big Workplace Meeting, Tuesday 9 February?

Thank you to everyone who has organised a workplace meeting for Tuesday. We have lots of workplaces geared up to take part. Watch the live stream from 12:45 on Tuesday 9 February. Be prepared and test your computers on Monday to see if you’re able to see the page.

Eddie Izzard to join Big Workplace Meeting

We’re excited to announce that comedian Eddie Izzard will be joining us for the live broadcast on Tuesday. Eddie will host the event and TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady will give an update on progress of the trade union bill. If you have a trade union bill related question you want to ask Frances please tweet it using the hashtag #heartunions.

What can you do during the week?

Help us create an online buzz for ♥UNIONS. Here are some suggestions on what you can do online.
– Add a twibbon to your Facebook or Twitter profile and help publicise ♥UNIONS. Get your twibbon.
– Make it personal, Add your own message to your Facebook status to tell us why you ♥UNIONS.
– Get tweeting. Tell us why you ♥UNIONS, share your pictures – use the hashtag #heartunions
– Don’t be shy! Take selfies by downloading ♥UNIONS postcard and share it using #heartunions
– Keep your eyes peeled on @The_TUC, @iheartunions, TUC Facebook and Instagram where we will be rolling out inspiring case studies, videos and shareable images.

Talking Union – New interactive guide

Kicking off a conversation with a colleague about the union is often the most difficult thing to do. There are a number of reasons why someone might be hesitant to start this conversation.

To help you tackle this the TUC has produced an interactive guide with useful tips and guidance to get you talking union.

Interactive guide

Have a great week everyone!​

To find out more about heartunions visit heartunions.org.

UNIONREPS newsletter is written by Labour Research Department

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The person responsible for the e-bulletin is:
Jay Sreedharan
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Report from the NUT London Weekend

London Weekend
Friday 29 Jan – Sunday 31 Jan 2016
FIGHTING FOR A FAIRER FUTURE.
Delegates: Michael Davern/Betty Joseph/KyravMcLeod and Bola Okaboyejo

Saturday morning

SOCIAL JUSTICE

9.45 – 10.45 Plenary 1. Chair: Sara Tomlinson – Secretary Lambeth NUT. Speakers Andrew Baisley (Camden NUT) And Alex Kenny (inner London Exec) Alex Kenny spoke about the London Manifesto and how to use in schools. Good news came from Birmingham as Small Heath Academy plans cancelled but members will still fight on to reinstate Simon O Hara the NUT rep who was suspended #reinstatesimon. Andrew Baisley went through the cuts to come and how the national funding formula will hit London schools and its children – redistributing funds to the shires “in the name of fairness”. Jess Edwards spoke about how in Lambeth. they have been working school by school rep by rep to promote the manifesto. Dave Harvey (Croydon) spoke about the need to support the sixth form strikes to come in the near future. Paul McGarr -spoke about the need for quick action on this – get members together then get the message out from thè school. Kirsty from Greenwich spoke about the need to have a collective campaign and nit defend these cuts school by school. Paul from East London spoke about there being Money for war, but not for schools – the money is there.

11.00 – 12.30 Workshops:
The Fight for Affordable Housing.- issue for teachers and the population in general – housing bill demo
Baseline Assessment. Testing and Accountability in Schools – Shelly Asquith – University of Sussex – update on campaign
Prevent/Islamophobia. – Ali Milani – President Brunel University Students Union – prevent is blunt tool – puts us in thè role of spies. – conference will discuss and vote on this.
Child Poverty.- Iman Hussain – CPAG – conference – important issue for every teacher and is a heavily supported motion at conference.

Saturday afternoon

EQUALITIES

1.30 – 2.30 Plenary 2. Chair: Mandy Hudson – NUT NEC Speaker: Ellie Barnes – LGBT Education Campaigner inspired us and taught us new words such as:

Heteronormativity
Intersectionality
Usualising

And reminded us that OFSTED outstanding is all about equalities
Equality act 2010 no opt out on LGBT teaching. Resources available on http://www.eductateandcelabrate.co.uk

2.45 – 4.00 Workshops:
LGBT – Annette Pryce – reach out for LGBT members, set up a branch group.
Disability.- Mandy Hudson –NUT NEC – reach out to disabled members find out the barriers to involving from them and find solutions together
Women.- build for women’s day build more local networks to feed into London and national
BME. – Sandra Hall – Work still to do around recruitment/promotions to leadership. Some discussion of quotas – could be a conference discussion.

Sunday morning

SOCIAL MOVEMENT TRADE UNIONISM

9.45 – 10.45 Plenary 3. Chair: Stephanie Bernard – Lambeth NUT Speakers: Kate O’Neill – Chicago Teacher, and Dennis Charman – Hammersmith & Fulham NUT.

We watched clips from Waiting For Superman and heard about the victory in Chicago which was built on social justice and rank and file organisation working with the parents and wider community and a nine day strike.

Dennis Charman spoke about victories in west London but also reminded us that our local members quite often don’t live in Southwark – Michael and Rene to look at where they live and how to get them involved if not in Southwark but in the communities in which they live. We will look at membership and see where members live, and encourage the, to attend branch meetings if easier.

11 – 12.30 Workshops London manifesto – action plan for Southwark focus on activating members and increasing rep density as well as training for existing reps.

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 780 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 13 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Tories unleashed – we know what is to come so: Time to start the fight back meeting on Weds for all Southwark trade union members at 7pm Tooley Street, Southwark Council offices Room GO3

Dear all,

You have probably spent the last seventy-two hours in shock and depression at the election result. Now it is time to consider the fight back which needs to start ASAP. The Trades Council or local TUC group is a forum for local unions to meet and organise together. ALL Southwark trade union members are welcome, so if you cannot attend on WEDS 13th, then please send someone else from school in your place.

We will obviously be discussing the election and more importantly how local unions can work together to respond to the upcoming attacks – on the right to strike in particular. We will need union solidarity on this, starting on Weds (if not before). Please ensure that someone from your school attends on Weds night from 7pm at The Southwark Council Offices on Tooley Street.

Regards,
Michael Davern
Joint Secretary Southwark Trades Council/Southwark NUT

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The NUT manifesto for Education

Put this to your prospective MP and see where they stand! Will they agree to implement it in full?

manifesto-16pp-a5–9929-_0 (2)

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NUT conference decisions beyond boycotts and ballots

The key decisions were about the ballot to boycott the baseline tests and the trigger for strike action in the autumn (should the education budget be further cut). However conference debated wider topics as shown within the agenda. Most motions were discussed and amended with few substantive additions or deletions.11251 NUT Final Agenda 2015 LOW RES PDF inc cover GB

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Report from NUT election meeting: Labour v anti austerity parties

Firstly well done to all teachers who… LEFT SCHOOL on time (NOT early) to attend the Southwark NUT election meeting. In the end we had four candidates and a highly interesting meeting with three anti austerity candidates across Southwark ( as is Southwark NUT): Nick Wrack from TUSC(Trades Union and Socialist Coalition) Steve Freeman (Republican Socialist), Lucy Hall (Independent) and Harriet Harman (Labour).

Prosepective MPs were asked about:

a) The NUT Manifesto for Education

b) Academies/Free Schools – privatisation in education

c) Teachers’ pay/performance management

On the above in terms of candidates’ responses there was a clear pattern with the anti austerity candidates agreeing with the NUT Manifesto in FULL – (TUSC has  formally adopted the manifesto in full). Harriet Harman agreed  with some of the key elements of the manifesto but was  careful not to state that she agreed with the NUT manifesto in full. On academies/free schools and privatisation we saw agreement on the  left to end academies and return them to local democracy and the local authority support. All in the room were against Free Schools, however parent -led academies  were seen as a replacements by Labour.

The really interesting discussions were on the whole about pupil engagement in politics and democracy in education and democracy and fairness in general. More on this next time. The general feeling of the meeting was that a Labour/Labour led government would be better for teachers but … there would still, as before, be areas of disagreement/conflict.

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