NEWSLETTER - June 2005
OFSTED MAKEOVER -
OLD RAGS FOR OLD
From September this year there will be some changes to the way in which Ofsted inspections are carried out. The major changes affecting teachers are listed below:
Until some schools have been inspected under the new system it is difficult to see whether it will make things more or less difficult for teachers. But one thing is clear - Ofsted remains a punitive system which teachers and schools would be better off without.
The NUT will continue to defend any members who are victimised as a result of Ofsted inspections.
Detailed advice to members facing Ofsted inspections is being prepared.
FLAGSHIP ACADEMY IN SPECIAL MEASURES
One school which would have definitely been better off without Ofsted is the Unity City Academy in Middlesborough. The flagship academy was recently put into Special Measures for failing to provide a good education . Now in its third year, having replaced two previously “failing” schools, it has been run with an annual £500,000 deficit, and has come under attack for excluding high numbers of pupils.
There are now 17 academies up and down the country and the government has a target of 200 by 2010. Academies are backed by private sponsors who have to provide only £2 million of the cost of setting up the school in order to gain control of it. The group controlling the Unity City Academy is Amey Construction. But the problem doesn’t just lie with one school. The basic idea is that “failing” schools are given a new building, taken out of local authority control and handed over to a group who have a proven track record in, say, building roads. This is meant to lead to dramatic improvements. However, reality checks indicate that what is actually happening inside academies is that teachers are fighting the same problems they fought before the academy opened – and in some cases are doing so with a longer working week and no union recognition.
Teachers cannot be pleased that any school is put into special measures because we are aware of the pressure and stress this causes the staff there. But the poor performance of the Unity City Academy, and the lack of impact of the others, should really make Bradford Council stop and think about plans to turn five high schools into academies.
TEACHING AND LEARNING RESPONSIBILITY POINTS
Bradford NUT is running a series of special meetings on the single issue of the introduction of Teaching and Learning Responsibility points (TLRs), which are due to replace Management Allowances. The abolition of Management Allowances was agreed to by the other teacher unions - not the NUT.
June 22nd. Shipley Library 4pm
June 23rd. Keighley College 4pm
June 28th Ilkley Town Hall, Council Chamber 4pm
The issue will also be discussed at the General Meeting on June 21st. at the International Restaurant, Morley St. Bradford, at 5pm.
Refreshments will be available at all the meetings.
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