MAY 2000 - Newsletter No.2

MORE ADVICE ON THRESHOLD APPLICATION

Since our last advice sheet we have held two meetings for members where Mike Chapman of Cambridge Education Associates (the company employing the external assessors) has given advice on filling in the form and has answered members' queries.

At both meetings members expressed anger at being put through this system in order to get a richly deserved pay rise. At the General Meeting this was reflected in the motion carried, which we have printed in full in this newsletter.

Nevertheless, at the moment, this pay rise is only open to those who fill in the threshold form in such a way as to `satisfy the standards'. Some teachers will not want to jump through this hoop for personal reasons and we respect that. We are giving whatever help we can to ensure that our members who do apply are successful.

Most Heads are giving support and encouragement to those of their teaching staff who are thinking of applying. We have, however, heard of some heads who are discouraging some or all of their staff. If this is happening to you, please contact us and we will try to ensure that you are assessed fairly.

If you are on 9 points for qualifications and experience in any setting , school or non-school, and no-one has given you the application material and offered you training, please get in touch urgently.

"Meeting the Standards"

The following comments are from what was said by Mike Chapman at the meetings with members about what constituted acceptable evidence: He went into more detail in the Keighley meeting than in the one in Bradford.

He recommended 3-4 bullet points as signposts to evidence under each standard. He suggested that where the evidence could be found should be put in a bracket at the end of each bullet point. He had also mentioned positively an example in which a line down the middle of the page divided the evidence on one side from where it could be found on the other. He stressed the importance of giving concrete evidence for every statement and saying where the evidence can be found.

Standard 1: knowledge and understanding

Updating will mainly be from in-house meetings _ staff meetings, team meetings etc. Sources of evidence for this might be: Departmental / KS / team meetings, lesson plans, scheme of work, worksheets, pupils work. Use outside courses if you have been on one and you can quote any journals, TES articles, books you've read / societies you belong to / use of internet - but none of this is a requirement.

You do need to show that you have put this updating into practice in the classroom.

Primary _ choose 2-3 subjects. Could be from literacy, numeracy, ICT training if that is where school updating has
concentrated.

Secondary _ choose 2-3 groups where there has been innovation or development, pastoral or subject.

Standard 2: plan lessons …

Refer to schemes of work, own planning file, etc, if your school has them. You can also use work sheets, children's work, etc to show evidence of prior planning. There may be planning discussions in team meeting minutes or refer to team leader to give verbal verification that you contribute to joint planning. Lesson observation reports if available.

Standard 3: use a range…

Plans, tasks, lesson observation reports, verbal verification are all possible sources of evidence.

It may be useful to refer to the school behaviour policy and how you use it with specific groups.

Include evidence of differentiation, group work, individual discussion, whole class teaching, practical, etc.

Standard 4: … prior attainment…

You can consider both subject and pastoral prior attainment. Use mark book, reports, IEPs, behaviour manager etc.

Marked work or other pupil information must be anonymous.

Standard 5: pupil progress

Need to show that progress is good for the pupils involved. Not necessarily measured against national or even school averages. Quote relevant data if your school has provided it but make clear the context of the particular class/pupils _ mention pupil turn-over, long term absence, second language learners, social problems, SEN, etc. If the school's PANDA does not accurately reflect the pupils (e.g. because the catchment area is different from the Council ward that the school is in) say so.

Standard 6: …professional development …

The evidence needs to be of the effect on your teaching / pupils' learning.
Plans, pupils' work, observations, etc, are all possible sources of evidence.

Standard 7: …policies and aspirations …

Evidence of work with pupils on school priorities e.g. attendance, behaviour,

Taking part in school working groups, parent partnerships, etc.

Any extra curricular activities (there is no requirement for these)

Standard 8: professional characteristics

Mike Chapman only spoke about analytical thinking. He gave examples of trying out something to solve a problem, of looking at the attainment of the class you will be getting next year and making adjustments. Any process that has the steps of _ recognising a difficulty _ trying a solution _ seeing if it works.
GOOD LUCK IF YOU ARE APPLYING



Opposing Performance Related Pay and Performance Management

Our General Meeting on May 16th was the best attended for a long time. The following motion was passed unanimously:

"This Association believes that the NUT should continue to campaign with the utmost vigour for a pay rise of £2,000 for all teachers, and against the Government's divisive and educationally damaging proposals for Performance Related Pay and Performance Management.

This Association regards as unacceptable the comments in the media from the General Secretary that he does not intend to implement all of the decisions of Annual Conference in respect of the campaign against Performance Related Pay and Performance Management.

This Association calls on the Executive to ensure that the decision of Conference is carried out, and that the Union conducts its ballots on the forms of action decided upon by Conference with a firm recommendation for a "Yes" vote.

It further calls on the Union to specifically develop a campaign against the Government's Performance Management proposals.This Association agrees to donate £350 to School Teachers Opposed to Performance Pay, to support the organisation in its continued campaigning."

EMTAG Staff In Closing Schools

The General Meeting also passed the following motion:

"This Association is appalled at the continuing discriminatory treatment of EMTAG staff in closing schools. It recognises that the failure to guarantee them security of employment would signal the end of the Council's commitment to "no compulsory redundancy" which has lasted for generations, and would threaten all staff in future.

It resolves to approach the Action Committee for a national deputation and for support for industrial action in defence of their jobs and of the security of all staff if the new Council does not act quickly to ensure the placement of all EMTAG staff."

The NUT discussed the matter with Ian Stewart, the Council's Chief Executive, on Wednesday 17th May. We reiterated our concern that no "political clearance" had been given to treat these staff in the same way as others. He sympathized with our concerns, and promised us a meeting in the week beginning 22nd May to try to resolve the issue.

Privatisation

The main reason we were meeting the Chief Executive, with representatives of the National Union present, was to express our extreme concern at the discussions that have been taking place to find a private company to run the Council's education services. He reported that the loss of control of the Council by Labour meant that the future of these proposals was uncertain, and that other models for delivering services were being worked on.

The publication of the LEA OFSTED Report on may 23rd or 24th is likely to be a vehicle for the Government putting on further pressure to get services privatized. Our General Meeting passed the following motion:

"This Association is opposed to the putting out to tender of Bradford Council's education services. It is also opposed to the replacement of the Council as the responsible body for education by a Partnership Education Board.

It welcomes the unanimous decision of the NUT Conference to oppose such proposals and protect members from the consequences. It welcomes the decision of UNISON to set up a campaigning organisation to resist the proposals, and agrees to work with UNISON in broadening this campaign to other unions and organisations. It believes that this is a development of great national significance, and asks the National Union for its full support in trying to get it halted."

 

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