ClassroomSolidarity's blog

Three NUT Strikes - Bolton, Ealing, Westminster ClassroomSolidarity Tue, 06/17/2008 - 15:28

This Wednesday, the day after a divisional secretaries meeting to discuss how to plan the next national ballot, three schools- in Bolton, Ealing and Westminster- are out on strike in exemplary actions

that show the way forward for the NUT generally. Sadly, it is not a pattern being repeated over the country but it is certainly hopeful and we need to answer the question of how can activists join the dots and spread the mood for action... writes Jason Travis of Bolton NUT.

For Secular Education ClassroomSolidarity Fri, 09/29/2006 - 19:46

Faith schools featured as a controversial aspect of debate at conference 2006 and despite a lengthy discussion – on the web, in conference hall and at fringe meetings – no real progress was made. The union had not considered its position for some time and many asked ‘why raise the issue now?’ This strain of thought was given weight by the wording of the initial motion which allowed sections of the union to cloak discussion in terms of Islamophobia.

Teachers need a voice in politics. ClassroomSolidarity Fri, 09/29/2006 - 19:45

NUT policies go well beyond the defence of our members pay and working conditions. In particular the Union has for decades been committed to free state comprehensive schools for all and opposed to selection, privilege and social division in education. Currently we want to see the end of imposed national testing, league tables and targets because of the damage they do to children and young people. As part of the wider trade union movement the NUT supports a Trade Union Freedom Bill in the UK and workers rights to organise freely across the world.

Call off the hounds! End the reign of Terror! National Action on Workload! ClassroomSolidarity Fri, 09/29/2006 - 19:44

When John Illingworth received a standing ovation at this year’s conference following his emotional appeal for the Union to take action to relieve workload induced teacher stress you would have thought that even our lethargic, sleep-walking executive would have been stung into action.

Pork Pie Academy planned for Nottingham! ClassroomSolidarity Tue, 08/08/2006 - 15:58

The sponsor for one of Nottingham's three proposed Academies has been announced. All along the City Council reassured us that the sponsors would be ‘respectable’ – hinting at the possibility of the University Hospital stumping up come cash. So far it’s been difficult to motivate much reaction against the proposals but like manna from heaven the announcement was made.

NASUWT – Is it still a trade union? ClassroomSolidarity Mon, 07/31/2006 - 20:24

Increasingly the NASUWT takes on the appearance of a bosses union. Desperate for a place at the negotiating table the NASUWT now appear to have forgotten that the core task of a trade union is to defend the interests of members in the workplace. The workforce remodelling agreement is at the root of this change of direction.

Welcome to Torquemada Academy? ClassroomSolidarity Mon, 07/31/2006 - 20:23

“Ah, good morning Mr and Mrs Smith; and this must be little Leo,” gushed the unctuous, gowned and mortar-boarded Principal. Try as he might, he could barely prevent the tone of disdain edging into his voice as their shabby collective appearance suggested unsuitability from the outset. Had they been parents of the more promising sort he would have shepherded them on their carefully selective guided tour himself, but this was a task for Bonehead, his stupid, sycophantic, self-serving underling.

Time to phase out faith schools ClassroomSolidarity Mon, 07/31/2006 - 20:23

For the first time in many years Conference delegates will have the opportunity to debate our policy on faith schools. The debate on Sunday morning will provide a choice between three broad positions.

Strike action the answer on pensions ClassroomSolidarity Mon, 07/31/2006 - 20:22

Over a million people struck to defend pensions on March 28th. Across the country successful pickets and demonstrations showed the potential of union power.
In Nottingham over 1,000 marched through the streets to a rally in the city. Schools, libraries, museums, car parks, refuse collection and much more was severely disrupted. 207 schools closed, the largest number for any county in the East Midlands. There were lively pickets at a number of locations across the county.

Monitoring madness increases workload ClassroomSolidarity Mon, 07/31/2006 - 20:21

The new Ofsted inspection process with its focus on so-called self-evaluation has generated panic in leadership teams everywhere.
Desperate to avoid the labels “notice to improve” or “special measures” headteachers have introduced round the clock Ofsted style monitoring of teachers.

Scrap Ofsted now!

Submitted by ClassroomSolidarity on Mon, 07/31/2006 - 20:21

I have now endured fourteen inspections of varying kinds - HMI, monitoring visits, Ofsted etc etc etc.
You would think with such experience that I would be aware of what an inspection involves.
But it would be fair to say that my fourteen inspections have taught me to expect nothing of certainty - so much depends on who actually arrives at the school gates. Yes you can know the system and procedures but what the inspectors are going to have a particular “bee in their bonnet” about is the luck of the draw.

TLR Campaign shows action works

Submitted by ClassroomSolidarity on Mon, 07/31/2006 - 20:20

Without the NUT hundreds of teachers across England and Wales would have been worse off as a result of the introduction of TLRs, and the problem is not just financial. Many teachers have faced the double whammy of cuts in pay and increases in workload.
The response of the NUT has been a model of basic trade union principles. Invariably heads in bullish mood believed they could roll over teachers without so much as a by your leave. But local officers supported by the national union soon disabused them of this illusion.

Stop the great schools sell-off

Submitted by ClassroomSolidarity on Mon, 07/31/2006 - 20:19

Comprehensive Education, despite its overwhelming popularity amongst voters, is in mortal danger from the proposals in the Government’s Education Bill passed in the House of Commons only with the support of the Tories. The Bill will hand control of state education over to private sponsors with little or no experience of running schools.

Tests, Tigger and the ‘Hand Signal TM’… Three ways to torture your students

Submitted by ClassroomSolidarity on Fri, 07/28/2006 - 10:47

It’s 2.30pm on Friday - just half an hour before the end of a tiring week - and Year Ten are predictably restive. You need to move the lesson on but all attempts to settle the class have failed. Detentions are issued, individuals spoken to and you even attempt the trick of starting to explain from the board in the hope that they’ll all realise what you want them to do. Nothing works. You’ve got one last trick up your sleeve (literally): the ‘Hand Signal TM’.