NASUWT Islington Association
First, the events:
There will be a Public Meeting on City Academies
Islington Central Library
Fieldway Crescent
Tuesday 12th October 7pm
This jointly organised by all the affected unions in Islington. The aim is to arrange a public debate, raise a petition and to bring our views to the Islington public and councillors.

Islington General Meeting
Time:  4:30 - 6pm
Date:  Wednesday 13th October 2004

Venue: The Angel Public House,
City Road EC1 (near Old Street tube)
refreshments will of course be provided
General Meeting 13/10/04
Minutes of the meeting of 19th May 04
Secretary's report: City Academy, Consultation, Aqua Terra, training, schools reorganisation, questionnaire, Gen Sec elections (everything in newsletter) Islington Conference, inspection/observations, personnel policies
H&S Report: asbestos training
Nat Exec report
Gen Sec & Nat Officer nominations
Any possible Conference Motions
Support for Beslan teachers
Conference Arrangements
Mailing Arrangements
School Reports

..and now the newsletter :
To all Islington Teachers,

Well, by now Summer probably feels like a distant memory. Let's be honest though, this year - do you really miss all that rain ??. It's going to be quite a long Autumn term, so hopefully you're all getting into the swing of it. You may be feeling that this intro is going on for too long, but hey, we're expanding the newsletter and I've got column inches to fill. If we keep it at this size I could do with a few more contributors...
Now one thing that we've begun to pick up on locally is the number and extent of lesson observations and what there impact is on individual teachers. The workload agreement and performance management framework should both have put limits on the amount of time you are observed, largely because of the extra workload these sessions inevitably entail. We are attempting to address the question of a meaningful code of practice for LEA link inspectors, but we  could do with  more information to use to back up our arguments. We are therefore circulating a questionnaire, which the NUT will also circulate, to gather feedback. Please take the time to complete it and be assured the information will be treated in confidence. NB we will not use the information to target individual schools - please contact me directly if you wish  me to take an issue on.
Overall, progress is continuing on the workforce remodeling and all headteachers should have been on the training to reinforce the new situation. In some cases, the difficulty continues to be that "management"  have simply not negotiated changes with support staff or their unions and teachers, ever compliant, are continuing to paper over the cracks. It is easy to see why, as sometimes not doing things makes our lives more difficult - ordering  more paints  or books or whatever,  but in  most cases this is simply bad  management. Our time is not an unlimited resource and the schools where it is treated as such are fewer (and mostly primary), but nothing will change if teachers are quietly acquiescent  Rant over.
There are two proposals for City Academies current in Islington. One is the new Church of England School in Liverpool Road. We understand that the timetable for that has been put back to 2008. The other could be based on  the sites of Islington Green and Moorlands School - operating on a split site. Now there are many arguments about having different forms educational provision and differential funding and I have no intention of going into them now. In terms of teachers' benefits, however, even though NASUWT has won the national argument that teachers pay and conditions must be respected (the workforce remodeling was all about "raising standards" too, so opting out of P&C goes against the government's own agenda ...)  there is still the possibility of schools attempting to go their own way in the future. We will go through these arguments and the educational ones at a public meeting at Islington Central Library on Tuesday 12th October at 7pm.
Since the death of Eamonn O'Kane in May, Chris Keates has been acting as General Secretary. Associations have three weeks to nominate for the position and this is on the October agenda.

Banging the Drum for Pensions (please visit the website to see the pictures)
Back in June, NASUWT had a very good turnout at the TUC and National Pensions Convention march. While we did get some national coverage, if anything, the impact was greater across Europe, where pensions have been a major issue for some time. Overall
 the demonstration was a success - there were enough people to make an impression, but to be honest, the local people weren't there .....
The "consultation" has continued, but the government clearly still wishes to raise the pensions age to 65 for teachers and reduce benefits for anyone who cannot last that long. There are, however, more proposals than these and there is a semi-official poll on or 
You will all have seen the news about the awful tragedy in Breslan on 3rd September. Apart from the children killed, the teaching staff were also decimated: out of 60 teachers, 11 were killed, 15 were hospitalised and, incredibly, 7 are still missing. The teachers were all members of ESEUR, which through Education International is a sister organisation to NASUWT. Unfortunately we understand that pensions and survival benefits are somewhat scarce in Russia. We have a long tradition of supporting teachers and their families in distress through our Benevolence work and the national association has made a donation.
At the General Meeting on 13/10/04 we will consider making a donation, but in the meantime, if any school branches would like to send a message of solidarity, they can be sent to:
Ms Galina Merkoulouva
President ESEUR
Leninsky Prospekt 42
Room 31-09
117119 Moscow
On the subject of "benevolence", this is an area where the union would welcome more involvement. Unlike some other positions within the union, there is no need to face down council officers or school management across a negotiating table (even that's not that glamorous) but instead involves visiting teachers, ex-teachers or their spouses to collect information so the union can decide how to give support to members in hardship. It is something from the heart of the trade union movement, dating back to the days when there was no welfare state. Unfortunately there is still a need for this. Full training is given. Contact me for further information or contact David Appleby through the London office (020 7978 1881) if you are interested.
There has been national agreement on term dates, but Islington would like more flexibility. We are seeking to reach agreement.
AQUA TERRA swimming instructor's pay has been successfully protected.
CEA are consulting on six personnel "policies" which unfortunately cut across existing procedures..
Finally, last Friday's TES says we have agreed to a paycut. This is not true, this is the freeze of management and R&R points we reported last year. Contact me if you are affected.

Greg Robbins
You should receive a copy of our workload and workplace questionnaire in school, as should teachers in the NUT. If you don't you can print off a copy from the website or alternatively the text is below and you can reply to this newsletter:
Joint NASUWT and NUT Workplace Survey, Autumn 2004
(Please don't spend more than 10 mins on this questionnaire)
How many times have you been observed in the last 12 months: (do not count OFSTED)
not at all     1-3 times    4-6 times    more than 6 times 
Are there any special reasons for observations (special measures, capability, NQT) ?
What reasons are given:
performance management    school improvement    none given    other (please specify)
         Do you know in advance about an observation?
Were comments received fair ?
I felt supported by the process
Was extra work incurred ?
Were all staff treated the same ?
It gave me access to training/CPD or resources
I always received the follow-up help promised
How often do you cover for other staff (or take split classes) ?
never    once/twice per term  several times per term    once /wk    more than once /wk 
Including briefings how many meetings are you expected to attend each week ?
none        one        two   three        more than three 
Do you have someone to whom routine tasks can be delegated (copying, ordering, displays) ?
Yes   yes for most things    yes for some things  only through my HoD    no-one 
If you feel that you have too much work to cope with and ask for support, would you expect to be told:
"We're all struggling, we need to pull together, don't let us down."   
"Take as long as you like (/more time) over the tasks, but they must be done." 
"Prioritise the most important issues, the others can wait for next year."  
"Don't be such a perfectionist, you're taking it too seriously"    
Something else..................
If you have a problem with a parent, would you expect your line  manager/head to:
reassure you, but expect you to resolve it.      
immediately investigate the matter.       
speak to you and then to the parent, reinforcing school policy.   
explain to you the importance of good school-parent relations, taking the parent's part. 
explain how to proceed, but explain that the school cannot upset parents.  
Something else ..................
Please complete this form and send it to the address below. You can use internal mail if you wish.
NB We will not use this information to begin action in any school unless asked to by members there.
Thank you for your time. Please feel free to add any other comments you may have.