To all Islington Teachers,


Firstly, apologies that this term’s newsletter is a little later than usual, so a belated welcome to those members who began in Islington this September and welcome back to everyone else. OK maybe that sounds a bit upbeat for returning to work after the holidays, but for myself, I enjoyed the break and broadly speaking, there appears to be genuine progress about some of our workload issues. The NUT is working with NASUWT and there seems to be general sympathy for our aims. A number of schools have already either changed their expectations or made alternative provisions to have work carried out. In fact our very success means that no-one is hearing about it - it simply isn’t newsworthy as it sounds like commonsense.

As we start this new year it’s important to remember that we are on industrial action and continue to cut back on unnecessary bureaucracy so we can concentrate on teaching and our lives outside teaching.

On the 28th June Martin Johnson, this year’s NASUWT national president visited Islington. He toured Richard Cloudesley School, Central Foundation School, Colebrooke PRU and Clerkenwell Parochial School as well as spending time with Vincent McDonnell, the director of services of CEA@Islington. He met members and senior management at these schools and a number of issues were raised and discussed. In the evening Martin attended the Summer school reps party in Vauxhall.

The annual general meeting was held at Barnsbury on 14th June. Greg Robbins (me) was re-elected as your local secretary while Milena Lee of Central Foundation School was elected Health and Safety Officer.

On 6th July the second joint NASUWT/NUT health and safety training day was held with an emphasis on workplace stress and violence. This was again successful and quite well attended. There will be another later this term, although the details have not yet been finalised.

There are a number of training courses for school reps and health and safety reps based at the London Regional Centre in Vauxhall. Details have been sent to schools, but just to encourage any reps who have not been trained, the next course is over two days, on 10/11/00 & 20/11/00.

I also have the accreditation cards which I have started sending out. If you are due one and have not received it please contact me asap. I am presuming of course that you have told me that you have been re-elected ....

In its evidence to the IEC Islington NASUWT warned against confusing who has overall leadership in the borough. The report issued at the end of last term recommends that "Islington" should assume overall leadership. What this might mean in practice was discussed at the IEC conference on 30th September. Unfortunately there were lamentably few teachers invited - apparently we’re not really stakeholders in education. On the plus side issues that are important to teachers were being taken seriously - excess paperwork, high costs of living/working in Islington and meaningful professional development.

One piece of progress has been on housing for teachers. There have been a few London-wide projects which have not yet produced anything, but in Islington a few properties have been made available for newly appointed teachers. At the time of writing there were still some places unfilled. More properties should also be available next year. On a wider note Islington NASUWT is campaigning for teachers (and other key workers) to have access to the housing register.

Islington Arts and Media School has achieved fame through the BBC2 TV mini-series "Head on the Block". The school is obviously working on putting its history behind it and sorting out a large financial deficit. There may be redundancies, but teachers will not be affected.

Currently the unions are being consulted on a number of issues:

The education development plan (EDP) (2000-2002), the SEN Framework for Action (2000-2003), the Budget Strategy for Schools (2001-2004), the School Organisation Plan (including possible closure of Angel School. These are not all the current issues of course, performance management for both CEA and LEA staff needs attention, but if we are a little slower than usual getting back to people we hope you will bear with us.

There will be a "new" Education Dept Safety Committee incorporating both LEA & CEA in one overarching H&S committee.

Nationally NASUWT is trying to secure payment of threshold payments as soon as possible.

Pleas check out the branch website. There visits list is creeping up to 250, so someone must be looking at it.

On a less interesting note, branches/associations are having to tighten up their constitutions. Copies will be available at the November meeting or can be downloaded from the site.

Greg Robbins

Colebrooke PRU has now closed. If members see this impacting on unsuitable placements for students please contact us.

Training should be available for the Performance Management Framework. If schools do not do this or try to adopt models other than the NASUWT/SHA one contact us.

General Meeting

Wednesday 22nd November 2000 4:30 -6pm

at the Barnsbury Centre, Offord Road



ŸSecretary’s Report

ŸThreshold - update

ŸHousing for teachers

ŸTime for a Limit

ŸCEA@Islington - update

ŸBranch Constitution

ŸReports 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 pos.

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