NUT OPPOSES PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES
As the line manager of a colleague and friend who is on the Upper Pay Spine, would you like to be part of the process which decides whether or not they get a pay rise? In the new performance management guidance, you will be.
The guidance has been drawn up by the RIG group to which the NUT does not belong. RIG is comprised of the other teacher unions (NASUWT, ATL, PAT, ASCL) plus the DfES.
There are further reasons why the NUT objects to RIG’s view of Performance Management .
On observations :
Lesson observations can be up to a maximum of three hours – and could be more, but only if “circumstances change”, such as a new role. The NUT’s present advice is that the maximum should be one hour – we believe that this should still be sufficient.
In addition, RIG guidance says the Headteacher or others delegated by her/him can “drop in” on a lesson. But we don’t have to accept that provides carte blanche to camp in a classroom – it can be challenged if it is not clear that the purpose is to monitor the pupil’s learning.
On reviewers :
The reviewer is normally a teacher’s line manager, although a teacher has the right to request a change.
On workload :
There are few crumbs of comfort here. Although the guidance indicates that Performance Management objectives should take account of work/life balance, we all know that in most schools this initiative has hardly been a stunning success. We need to insist on work/life balance being a reality in resisting unreasonable objectives.
There is scant protection for the workload of reviewers – merely a passing reference that a school might wish to limit the number of reviewees for whom they are responsible.
These regulations are due to come into effect in September 2007. Schools may want to start preparing for them.
The NUT is asking its members not to attend any training sessions until it has sent out further advice to teachers, school representatives and Head teachers.
The NUT opposes these new regulations, believing they will:
USE OF ICT EQUIPMENT – A NOTE OF CAUTION!
Use of computers, other ICT equipment, the internet and e-mail are now ubiquitous but familiarity and over-confidence can lead to a variety of problems, some of which can result in serious individual consequences including ill health and dismissal.
There are some basic facts that teachers need to recognize to maintain their health, safety and well being, not to mention their jobs.
Fact 1 – The laptop computer you are using today is almost certain to be school property even if you have been allowed to take it home and to employ it for personal use.
Fact 2 – As it is not your property, the school can require its return and any use that has been made of the machine may be open to question by your employer.
Fact 3 – Education Bradford has staff professionally trained in the forensic recovery of websites that have been accessed or other information that is on the machine.
Fact 4 – If you access websites or send or receive emails via your laptop or school computer using the school’s ICT system then such traffic is very likely to be monitored.
Fact 5 – Your school is very likely to have a detailed policy on the use of School ICT systems which warns that breaches of the policy may result in disciplinary action including dismissal. Even if it does not have a policy, a judgement may be made that misuse has taken place and the consequence could be the same.
The safest assumption is that there is no privacy with regard to any use that is made of school systems within and outside school hours, and that a teacher may have to answer for their use of the ICT systems, and that serious consequences can result.
The obvious area that would cause concern is connected with the possible accessing of inappropriate sexual material, but use such as on-line gambling might also be called into question.
Other less obvious areas are where unsolicited e-mails containing inappropriate material land in your inbox. It is advisable to treat these seriously, delete them and seek to prevent further delivery.
Another area of concern would be where e-mail exchanges degenerate into bullying. It is advisable for everyone’s sake that consideration is given to the likely effect before firing off an e-mail that could cause offence or cause the recipient to feel harassed. The culture of immediate response and the possibility of pursuing people into their home time can often unwittingly cause distress.
Staff should have induction or re-induction to a school’s ICT policy so that there is clarity about acceptable usage and about the monitoring of usage.
Thursday November 2 nd is No More Landmines Day.
The No More Landmines campaign is the international citizenship campaign of the NUT.
Free materials, including lesson ideas, teachers’ notes and specially commissioned children’s stories can be downloaded from
The materials also cover more general development issues, how landmine survivors cope with being disabled in a developing country, and how to raise funds to clear mines and help victims.
A free teacher’s resource pack is also available by calling 020 7471 5580, or e- mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
See also the current edition of The Teacher.
NEW car seat laws aimed at dramatically cutting the number of children killed or injured in cars are coming into force. The Government says the move could save up to 2,000 children from death and serious injury in crashes every year.
From 18th September 2006, all children under the age of 12 must use some form of child seat or cushion rather than just an adult seat belt - unless they are taller than 135cm (4ft 5in).
There are consequences for teachers who use their own cars to transport children.
Here is a guide to the new rules:
Q Which children are affected?
A All children under the age of 12, unless they are taller than 135cm (4ft 5in), MUST use a child seat appropriate to their weight. Most children reach 135cm around the age of nine but the Department for Transport recommends children use booster seats or booster cushions until they are 150cm (4ft 11in) tall.
Q Which seat does my child need?
A Weigh them and use the following guide: Up to 13kg (2st 1lb) - rear-facing baby seat' 9kg to 18kg (1st 6lb to 2st 12lb) - forward-facing child seat' 15kg to 25kg (2st 5lb to 3st 13lb) - booster seat with a back' 22kg (3st 6lb) or over - booster cushion.
Q Are there exceptions to the laws?
A Yes. A child aged three to 12 years may travel in the back of a car with just an adult seat belt during short journeys of "unexpected necessity". But they must not travel in the front without an appropriate seat under any circumstances.
Q Who will be held responsible for violations by passengers?
A The driver.
Q What are the penalties?
A Police can impose a £30 fi xed penalty. However, the maximum fine in court is £500.
Schools will need to keep a store of booster seats to make sure that all staff who drive children comply with the law. This will apply to all primary schools and to Year 7 in Secondary schools. Remember also, if you do drive children in your car, you need to have business use insurance cover.