NASUWT Conference Easter 2019

Lewisham NASUWT officer and teacher Cynthia Harding seconds our composite motion at NASUWT National Conference 2019 in Belfast. We were proud to hear Cynthia talking movingly about workplace bullying resulting in mental health problems.  As expected our motion was unanimously passed and our recommendations adopted. It was one of the most popular motions on the agenda.  Cynthia shares a stage, in this picture with our National President 2019 David Kitchen and our General Secretary Chris Keates.

Lewisham NASUWT officer and teacher Cynthia Harding seconds our composite motion at NASUWT National Conference 2019 in Belfast.

We were proud to hear Cynthia talking movingly about workplace bullying resulting in mental health problems.

As expected our motion was unanimously passed and our recommendations adopted. It was one of the most popular motions on the agenda.

Cynthia shares a stage in this picture with our National President 2019 David Kitchen and our General Secretary Chris Keates.

NEWS!

GREENWICH and LEWISHAM Associations nominated Angela Butler to serve as Junior Vice President 2019/20.

BME TEACHERS FACE RACIST ABUSE, CONFERENCE HEARS

More than half (53%) of BME teachers have reported being subject to verbal abuse at school in the last twelve months, Chris Keates, the General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, told a conference of BME teachers today.

At the NASUWT BME Teachers’ Consultation Conference in Birmingham, the largest gathering of BME teachers in Europe, Ms Keates told the delegation:

“BME teachers continue to be subjected to racist remarks, negative comments, and threats of disciplinary action because of their racial origin.

“Teachers are continuing to face misery, humiliation, ill-health, loss of confidence and blighted careers as a result of this abuse.”

The General Secretary also recounted that 42% of BME teachers say they are not supported by senior management to deal with pupil indiscipline.

“This unacceptable failure to act is indefensible and reprehensible.

“It is a failure of the employer’s legal duty of care to employees. Too often, schools are condoning behaviour that is leaving BME staff, and indeed pupils, isolated and vulnerable, setting an appalling example to our children and young people.”

Ms Keates also raised the top concerns of the teaching profession, which workload remains the number one issue. She said many BME teachers were “buckling under the weight of more and more administrative tasks.

“Teachers are being crushed by punitive assessment and working policies, designed to hold them to account rather than support pupil progress.

“They are trapped in the seemingly permanent revolution of curriculum change, invariably ill-thought through, under-resourced, and badly executed.”

Ms Keates highlighted the NASUWT’s “outstanding” success in fighting for the rights of BME teachers, which has secured “positive change”.

“The NASUWT has stood alone for what is right, often against the prevailing views of the day, on pay, workload, the teachers’ contract, pupil indiscipline and equality.”

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT- an end to objectives based on data.

Dear Colleagues

Towards the end of last week I distributed to you copies of posters relating to performance management, particularly the use of data in relation to objective setting. The quotes on the posters were from the Report ‘Making Data Work’. 

An email link to the posters was sent to all members and this has generated some queries about objective setting, particularly where objectives had been set before the publication of the Report and our advice, and those objectives are based on the use of data in a way which makes them unrealistic and unachievable. In these cases, we should still consider challenging the objective and seek to have it amended on the basis of the very helpful outcome of the DfE Advisory Group on Teacher Workload ‘Making Data Work’ – a briefing on this Report was sent to lay activists and members a couple of weeks ago straight after the report was published.

Even if an objective has been ‘agreed’ in the performance management planning meeting, if its based on poor practice and misuse of data then we can press for it to be reviewed. In most cases data driven objectives are applied to all teachers, so in most cases we are more than likely to be able to tackle this on a collective rather than individual basis, following reference to your National Executive Member.

If a school is setting data objectives across the board then its policy is not compliant with the NASUWT policy anyway, unless the wording in our guidance has been adopted.

Please bear in mind that ASCL, NAHT and the NGA have all signed a covering letter to the Report stating that they endorse its findings and  the Report is supported by the DfE and Ofsted, so where there is any push back from headteachers who are members of those associations or from governors they should be reminded of this.

Best wishes

Chris Keates (Ms)

General Secretary

England Pupil Indiscipline Posters

Please find attached a set of posters which have been placed on the website and sent to workplace representatives with an accompanying letter, a copy of which is attached. A link to the posters has also been emailed to all members. Regional centres are also being supplied with additional copies and the posters are also downloadable from the website. We will also be using social media to promote these and take copies to conferences and events.

Two of the posters focus on sending out messages to members about tackling pupil indiscipline. The NASUWT Big Question Survey shows that pupil indiscipline is in the top three concerns of teacher which is why it featured in the 10 minute briefings, which were distributed at the start of the academic year, to support visits to schools in your areas co-ordinated by your National Executive Members and Regional Organisers. Our casework on pupil indiscipline, both individually and collectively, over the last few months has increased significantly. It is particularly important that we get our strong message out, regarding teachers’ right to a safe working environment, to special schools and units where teachers are often told that being verbally or physically abused is all part of the job. As you know the NASUWT has a record second to none in tackling these issues successfully, and successful casework on this supports recruitment and retention of members.

The other posters are quotes from the Report we recently highlighted to you on Making Data Work, which had been issued by the DfE Advisory Group on Teacher Workload. A couple of weeks ago I sent a briefing on that Report to local and negotiating secretaries, highlighting some key quotes from the Report which I know from feedback many of you have put to good use in your representations on objective setting in connection with performance management. The posters will highlight this to teachers at a time when many of them are going through their PM reviews and objective setting.

Eng ABUSE posters.pdf

Eng Did you know poster.pdf

Eng Pupils behaviour posters.pdf

England Reps Letter.pdf