NEWSLETTER - DECEMBER 2004
ELECTION OF DEPUTY GENERAL SECRETARY
Bradford Association has nominated
for this important national position. Christine is a highly experienced teacher and NUT officer – she was President of the Union in 1997. We are writing to all members to explain why Christine would be an excellent person for the job. Details of policies can be found at
Bradford Council’s plan to re-build and refurbish local schools through the Building Schools for the Future Project has been well publicised. It is a system whereby schools are built and maintained by a private consortium and leased back to the council for a period of, typically, 25 years.
Probably less well known, however, is the plan to establish 4 or 5 Academies on the sites of existing schools.
Academies, which are essentially independent schools, have serious implications for the delivery of education and for the staff employed there.
Bradford NUT will ensure that the arguments against Academies are heard and that they are not smuggled quietly in as part of the BSF package.
On Christmas morning the shutters of Ebenezer Clarke’s house flew open. Clarke was dishevelled and bleary-eyed, as indeed anyone would be who had spent all night being haunted by three ghosts, and yet his voice rang out loud and clear.
“Merry Christmas”, he roared.
Beneath his window a small figure looked up. It was Tiny Tim Mainscale, a young teacher who was staggering home beneath a pile of planning documents from an all-night Christmas Eve staff meeting.
“Oi, you down there”, continued Clarke. “Yes, you with the files on your head. I’ve got some presents for you. Cop hold of this.”
And before Tim could take any evasive action, or even disengage himself from the situation in a non-aggressive manner, a large box fell towards him. He had no time to read the label on it, which said TEACHING AND LEARNING RESPONSIBILITY POINTS, before it knocked him over. Thud!
“Greetings of the season” yelled Clarke. “This present will reduce your salary when you lose your Management Allowance . It will make you stay healthy by stopping you from buying unnecessary amounts of food and drink”.
Tim hardly had time to scramble to his feet before another box, labelled HIGHER LEVEL
TEACHING ASSISTANTS, flattened him again. Crash!
“This”, bellowed Clarke, “will let you be in charge of several classes at the same time.” Aren’t you going to say thank you?”
But Tim, prostrate beneath the presents, neither moved nor spoke.
“No gratitude” muttered Clarke. And if anyone was looking up at Clarke’s window they would have seen three ghostly shadows standing behind him. They looked strangely like the leaders of some teachers’ unions. Nodding their heads, they said,
“We agree”, before vanishing into thin air.
The blizzard had now increased its intensity and the wind was howling. Blinded by the snow and deafened by the gale, Tim barely had the strength to look up as a third box, as big as a crate, tumbled from the window above.
“Hee hee”, chuckled Clarke. “Now I’ve fooled those three I can give you the best present of all. It will force you to carry on working for longer and take away those long, boring days of retirement. Enjoy”. Wallop! The box landed on top of Tim and knocked him out cold. The label, which Tim would never read, said FIVE YEARS OFF YOUR PENSION.
Later that Christmas morning, some of Tim’s friends were on their way to a staff meeting (their school was in Special Measures) when they found his body, crushed beneath the weight of Clarke’s beneficence. As they loaded him onto a handcart to take him to the Paupers’ Hospital for Undeserving Teachers, the church bells began to ring. Spectral voices seemed intermingled with their peels – “We agreeee, we agreeee…”
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