July 2002 - Newsletter

Moving This September?

The last few newsletters have all carried articles about the problems of the Post-Threshold (Upper Pay Spine) payments.

We have emphasised that the system does not

These points all remain valid.

The failure of most schools to carry out Reviews on their eligible teachers so far, threatens a particular difficulty for teachers moving school this September. It will be a lot harder for the new school to judge performance for a pay rise due on September 1st than it will be for the present school.

In order to avoid this difficulty, the Performance Reviews for people who are changing schools should be done this term and the award should be made before they leave.

RESULT OF EPP ELECTION

Jane Rendle of the NUT was the successful candidate in the recent election for Teacher Representative on the Education Policy Partnership and would like to thank everyone who voted for her.

SCHOOL SIXTH-FORMS UNDER THREAT?

An "Action Plan" for all 16-19 education in Bradford is being drawn up by a steering group which includes Education Bradford, the LEA, the Learning and Skills Council, Bradford Secondary Heads, Bradford College, etc.. It will have a major impact on sixth-forms in schools.

The Action Plan follows a criticism by OFSTED, who reviewed Bradford’s post 16 provision in January, that small sixth-form classes are “poor value for money.”

The Draft proposes that all future provision is funded only through Federations of schools, local college provision and work based training.

This is reminiscent of the consortia of the past, and as it is proposed that the federations should be organised on the principle of teachers moving if necessary, rather than students, it calls to mind some of the problems of working on split sites which many of us have had to deal with recently.

A new ‘Centre of Excellence for Teaching and Learning’ is also proposed for the development of best practice and ‘to allow the average teacher to deliver outstanding lessons’.

We will be discussing these plans with the LEA and Education Bradford and would welcome feedback from sixth form teachers, particularly those who remember the pros and cons of the consortia system.

SEN BIDS - WHY DIDN'T THEY ASK THE SENCOs?

Most teachers involved with SEN would agree that something had to be done about the very bureaucratic process of obtaining funds for SEN and Statemented pupils.

The new system, however, which involves SENCOs writing bids for funds, was introduced without proper consultation with the very people who will have to make the system work -SENCOs themselves!

Many are understandably angry about this, about the lack of information available to them at the start of the process, and about the extra workload involved.

We have had meetings with the senior staff of Education Bradford responsible for the new system. We may have helped to achieve some improvement in the process, but the burden passed on to schools is still undoubtedly excessive.

The desire of a company with a contract to deliver education services for the Council to pass some of this responsibility on to schools is one that we should expect. We must resist it unless resources needed are also passed on to the schools to allow extra staff to be employed.

 

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