November 2002 No.2

THE UPPER PAY SPINE
HAS YOUR SCHOOL MANAGEMENT GOT TO GRIPS WITH IT?

We are still being contacted by schools where unreasonable processes are being used to determine progress to Point 2 of the Upper Pay Spine, or where nothing is being done at all to achieve such movement.

School managements and governors should, by now, have begun the procedure for allowing teachers who crossed the Threshold in September 2000 to move to the next point on the scale.

The criteria for movement are as follows:

No other criteria are acceptable.

Teachers do not have to apply - it is the Headís responsibility to carry out the review for everyone who is eligible and to make a recommendation to the Governing Body.

If you crossed the Threshold in September 2000 and you have been working at least at that level since - you deserve the extra money.

The pay award will be back-dated from September 1st 2002.

Schools have generally delayed moving staff up the spine because they are waiting for coherent advice on how to do it. We have sent School Representatives the NUTís advice, with copies for headteachers and Chairs of Governors.

We have at last persuaded the LEA and Education Bradford that it is a good idea to have some advice to all schools agreed between teacher unions, heads and the LEA. Work is being done on this at the moment.

In the meantime, contact us about any scheme proposed in your school that seems unreasonable.

Should teaching be done by teachers?

In the last newsletter, we warned that the Governmentís proposals for reducing teacher workload contained some worrying elements.

The biggest single challenge is the proposal that a new category of "High Level Teaching Assistant" should be created. Such people would be allowed to take classes under the instruction of a teacher, with the teacher responsible for the outcomes. A consultation document proposes that a system capable of training 20,000 such teacher substitutes a year should be set up.

To the NUT, this looks very much like a long term strategy for reducing the number of teachers, and making them manage more pupils each, with the help of these teaching assistants. We are concerned that this will increase rather than reduce teacher workload, and will reduce the quality of education.

The Union is sending each member its own consultation document on the proposals, to your home address.

Please be sure to reply.

INTERESTED IN HEALTH AND SAFETY?

The NUT will have a vacancy for a Health & Safety Representative from January 2003. The work involves visiting a group of schools, inspecting them for health & safety hazards and writing a report. Your school would receive funding so you could be covered for the one day per week that this would take you out of school.

Full training is given with cover provided for this. We also have a large group of very experienced, local H&S Reps, plus two Advisers to help you.

A job description is available on request so if you are interested, please ring Miriam or Stuart at the office on the number above.

Firefighters' Strike

There are safety precautions which all schools need to take to minimise the risk of fire during the present dispute. The Fire Risk Assessment should be reviewed and the question asked - Are safety measures adequate in the current situation?

There should be a physical check by the school management that all fire extinguishers are in position and fully charged, that fire exits are easy to open and clear of obstructions, that proper signs are in place, that any inflammable liguids, gases, chemicals etc that are stored on the premises are securely locked away.

A whole school evacuation drill should be carried out if this has not been done recently.

 

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