To All Islington Teachers,
Hopefully you will have received the newsletter at school, but in case you did not, the text of it is below. It is shorter than usual because of the Regional Centre move, but the next one will be bigger again with information on UPS and the Pensions Campaign.
The next General Meeting of Islington NASUWT will be this Wednesday 9th February at the new London Regonal Centre at 65, St Johns Street, Farringdon EC1, beginning at 4:30pm. This will be the first meeting anybody has at the new centre and it would be great to see as many people there as possible to mark the occasion (and nose around a bit too.)
AGM minutes (information only)
Secretary's Report
    Pay policy
    Aqua Terra
    Classroom observations
    City Academies
Health and Safety
    Stress Policy
    Asbestos update
    Report on last year's expenditure
National Executive Report
    Management Points
Union Learning Representatives
Reports from Schools
It seems a lot, but most of it is for information and we hope to get through it all fairly quickly. Light refreshments will be provided.
and now, the newsletter .....................
NASUWT Islington Association
Welcome back all Islington Teachers,
I know it's a bit late to wish you all a Happy New Year, so I begin this newsletter with a moan. While we do all we can to support members, in negotiations with the Local Authority, we sometimes need to substantiate our claims to demonstrate problems exist. I circulated a questionnaire in the September newsletter and am frankly disappointed by the response. Please take the time to complete and return the form on the back of this newsletter.
Something that's better news:
The Greater London Regional Centre is moving to Islington. 65 St John Street, Farringdon to be exact. This will make training and union facilities more available to us and we will record the event by being the first association to hold a meeting there on Weds 9th February.
Unfortunately that means that printing facilities are reduced, so we will go back to the double backed A4 newsletter this month. Apologies if it's a little harder to read.
A number of school reps and H&S reps have not yet attended training. Dates for Spring and Summer are:
Rep I (2 day) 11/3/05 14/3/05
Rep II (2 day) 9/2/05 15/6/05
H&S I (2 day) 22/2/05 24/5/05
Rep I  (2 day) 16/5/05 17/5/05
H&S II (2 day) 23/6/05 24/6/05
PPA (1 day) 26/1/05   or 27/1/05
Dealing with difficult children  18/5/05
Last but not least; we are still discussing this years pay policy with CEA. This was not helped by a circular released last week which confused threshold and UPS requirements. You've heard it before - you do not need to apply for UPS 2&3 - by law all eligible teachers must be considered. No date has yet been set as a deadline for Islington teachers to apply for the Threshold this year. Contact me at the address  below if your head brings the circular to you.
I simply can't squeeze in enough
about the management allowances -
that will have to wait for the next newsletter, but
contracts are changing. Teachers whose work is based on teaching and learning will not lose out. That's all I can squeeze in, so please answer the questionnaire and get to the meeting.
Greg Robbins
Across the borough most heads have said they are successfully implementing the national agreement. The truth of this varies somewhat. I need members to keep me informed of any ongoing issues. While we may bend the rules to help out friends occasionally it is important to refuse management requests which contradict the agreement.
The next stage is PPA (planning preparation assessment) time a legal right from next September. More info next term, but you should have seen the flyers for the PPA courses on 26 or 27/1/05. This is the same training your headteacher will do. Please try and get there if you can.
Where schools do not comply, as well as the usual forms of action, NASUWT will also take legal action to enforce our contracts.
Joint NASUWT and NUT Workplace Survey, January 2005 
A properly formatted version is available on the website if you don't like the boxes out of line. 
(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.
Contact: Greg Robbins, Richard Cloudesley School, Golden Lane EC1Y 0TJ tel 020 7251 1161 fax 7251 4911
Thank you for your time. Please feel free to add any other comments you may have.