To all Islington Teachers,
Welcome to this Summer's newsletter, I can only apologise that there was not one last term, but I hope that you will appreciate a lot has been happening and I have been kept slightly busy.
Two representatives from Islington went as part of the London Delegation; we supported Martin Johnson, a Lewisham teacher, as new President of the NASUWT, When he was an executive member for London he gave a lot of support to Islington members and he is committed to the needs of inner-city teachers and pupils.
A number of influential speakers discussed the possibility of a sabbatical term for serving teachers.
David Blunkett reiterated the need for adequate off-site provision for children with different needs - but seemed confused on the distinction between PRUs and special schools ....
Read the report in the Career Teacher for a fuller account of which motions were passed, but there was a call for specific legislation to protect employees from bullying.
Ballot - Time for a Limit
As soon as the threshold applications have gone in, the ballot for "action short of a strike" will begin. This is what Nigel deGruchy called "action with a halo!" at conference this year - over the last two years the government/DFEE has actually often said that teachers should teach - circular 2/98, Anti-bureaucracy Toolkit and several other documents were mentioned - and it was simply suggested that all we need do is a work-to-rule, following the advice of the DFEE and concentrate on teaching. The
aim is to put a limit on what we are expected to do as part of our contracts.
The start date for any action would be 28th June 2000. More information is in the yellow booklet "Time for a Limit, Time for Action" which should be in your school. Contact Rednal if you need more copies.
CEA@Islington inspectors have been visiting a number of schools. Their first casualty appears to be Colebrooke PRU, who have been told that the centre will close at the end of this term. No formal consultation has begun as yet, but it is the first indication of how CEA@Islington intends "improving" the Islington education service.
Everyone should have received the union's booklet of advice at their home addresses. I have one or two more copies if they are needed, or more are available from the london office.
Apply this year if you are ever going to - future funding may depend on a calculation based on where most post-threshold teachers are - this is a London-wide issue.
The list is the box to the right is from Nigel deGruchy's speech at conference. The reason for putting it here is to remind people not to hand back any concessions that have been won - you don't need to agree to more work, you don't have to provide a portfolio, you have the right to see your completed form and add comments if you disagree with your head and you choose the evidence that you present.
10 improvements made by the NASUWT
for teachers at the threshold
1.Sixteen standards reduced to eight
2.Reduction in size & complexity of the application form
3.Softening of pupil progress standards, shifting the focus from a total reliance on exam results to the opportunity to cite examples of the wider progress of individual pupils and groups of pupils
4.Creating a climate of expectation that the vast majority of eligible teachers can cross the threshold if they apply, and the need for flexibility in the first year
5.No new contract for those who cross the threshold
6.No portfolio of evidence needed to support application
7.Retention of the external assessors ability to overrule heads recommendation
8.Teacher to see completed application form at the end of the process
9.Participation in voluntary activities not required
10.The inclusion of an equal opportunities monitoring form & reference in the Guidance Notes to considerations of equality
The NUT are looking for an extension to the deadline, but as of today, 25th May it has not been agreed, so the deadline is likely to remain the 5th June.
Annual General Meeting
Wednesday 14th June 2000 4:30 -6pm
at the Barnsbury Centre, Offord Road
Election of Officers
Time for a Limit
CEA@Islington - update
EAZ - update
Reports from schools
It would be useful if anyone who has detailed questions, or wishes to bring up items under AOB could let me know as soon as possible.
News In Brief
Islington Arts and Media School (IAMS) has a new acting headteacher, John Hudson seconded from Holloway School.
Ethnic Minorities Achievement Service (EMAG) - no redundancies are now expected following the recalculation of grants.
Colebrooke PRU is threatened with closure at the end of this term. No extra provision within the borough appears to have been planned.
CEA@Islington inspectors are visiting schools to investigate "value for money".
Threshold deadline is still 5th June.
Time for a Limit ballot papers arrive by 5th June, ballot closes 19th June
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