Newsletter - February 2003

NUT Stands Firm On Workload And Role Of Teaching Assistants

A war of words is now raging over whether it is right or wrong to stay in the present talks with the Government on Workload.

The NUT is not in those talks because in order to remain in, the Government insisted that unions sign up to the following principles:

We believe that there is no guarantee that these plans will reduce overall workload.

We believe that non-teachers teaching classes on their own, even if it is described as being to free up the time of teachers, is the thin end of a very big wedge. Remember this from the document that the other unions signed:

"the school will need innovative remodelling strategies...for example teamwork options involving a QTS teacher and one or more assistants covering a double-sized group of pupils" (p9 of the Time For Standards Agreement)

The other unions have capitulated to the Government’s bullying tactics. It’s a good job that the NUT is the largest union and is growing fast. Our best protection today is for other teachers to join us. (Tel 01274 414664 for application forms)

Six Term Year Consultation - what the proposers haven’t told you

The professed aim behind a 6 term year is to improve standards for pupils and help teachers. How well does that stack up with the facts?

You may still have time to have your say on the consultation by using the internet on

Overseas Teachers Dumped

Teaching Personnel is a web based supply agency set up by two young men in 1996 to make money from the teacher shortage. You may be thinking ‘good luck to them’ or wishing you had thought of it first. They certainly have made money out of it. The founders recently capitalised the business allowing them to realise something like £60 million. Not bad for a good idea.

But of course it is not as simple as that. Maybe there are always casualties when someone makes £60 million. One set of casualties has been overseas teachers brought into the country by Teaching Personnel. They were recruited on terms favourable enough to persuade teachers in mid career to uproot their families and move here, but the contracts allowed Teaching Personnel to legally make detrimental alterations at two weeks notice.

Less than six months after they arrived many teachers faced a situation where they couldn’t work for any other agency but only got paid when Teaching Personnel sent them work. For some, that work has dried up, leaving them in poverty and facing deportation.

Alerted by the Bradford office the NUT nationally has been working with the Home Office and the DfES to find a way forward for teachers here and in other cities. The Home Office no longer issues work permits for Supply Agencies, and they have agreed to issue work permits tied to short term posts for these teachers.

Twelve teachers who were recruited in this way from India were sent to Bradford. Three have now found permanent jobs and one has returned. This leaves eight teachers - five secondary (English, Business studies, Food Technology, Humanities, Social studies, Maths), and three primary - who urgently require a long term placement or a permanent post. These are able and experienced colleagues.

Can You Help?

If there are opportunities in your school that might be suitable please let us know and we will pass on the information. For this term even short term supply opportunities would be welcome.


In 2004 the NUT will hold an election for the General Secretary when Doug McAvoy retires.

Bradford NUT is supporting John Illingworth's campaign for this position.

John has been an active member of the union for 28 years. He teaches in a city centre primary school in Nottingham, has been a local officer since 1984 and a conference delegate every year since 1985.

John has been active in a wide range of education and conditions of service campaigns, including:

John came to Bradford to speak in a public debate with politicians during our campaign against the privatisation of the LEA.

John was National President in 2001/2.

Bradford NUT Supports Education In Nepal

At our January General Meeting we were again visited by Phil Grayston, a former member and teacher in Bradford who has been training teachers in rural Nepal as part of a VSO programme.

We agreed at his request to continue our sponsorship of a school for the children of the Badi community, an endangered "untouchable" group with whom he has worked. He gave a very moving report, which will be dealt with more fully in our next newsletter.


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