Activists Esmail and Sepideh were first arrested in November 2018 for protesting the unpaid wages and poor working conditions of a sugar cane company in Iran. After speaking out, they were rearrested and have since been badly beaten with metal bars, restrained for long hours and intimidated with sexually abusive language. Join Amnesty International UK and demand the immediate release of Esmail and Sepideh today.
Opposition is building to the Baseline Assessment which is due to be piloted for 4-year-olds this September. Campaign group More Than A Score (MTAS) has organised a Chalk Protestto raise awareness of these absurd assessments, which are more about school and teacher accountability than supporting children’s learning.
To take part, just chalk the message Play Not Tests At 4 on a pavement or in a playground near you, take a photograph and share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag More Than A Score: Twitter: @morethanscore; Facebook: @morethanascore
Meanwhile, the MTASpetition against Baseline continues to gather signatures and has now passed 40,000. Members and parents are encouraged to sign it.
The petition , set up by head teachers in Gateshead and signed by thousands of NEU members, has been listed for debate in Parliament on 4 March. It would be great to see the petition – which has been signed more than 76,000 times – get to 100,000 signatures by the time of the debate.
We encourage you to contact your MP and urge them to speak in the debate, passing on real stories of the impact of cuts in their constituency. We are sending all MPs a model survey which they can send to head teachers to capture this information. The more teachers who contact MPs with their stories the better.
In recent days, Westminster Hall debates on funding cuts in Gloucestershire and Cheshire and SEND funding have seen politicians of all parties unite to highlight the scale of the crisis and to call for better funding, so now is a perfect time to keep up the pressure.
Take to the streets on UN Anti Racism Day. There will be demonstrations on the day in London, Cardiff and Glasgow.
From Trump in the US, right across Europe and back to Bolsanaro in Brazil the racist and fascist right are on the rise. It is vital that while the likes of Steve Bannon are trying to link up the far right on an international scale, we build the links between anti-racists and anti-fascists across international borders.
The proposed increase to the employers’ contribution to TPS
Proposed increases in the employer contribution to the Teacher’s Pension Scheme (TPS) could lead to some employers withdrawing from the scheme, with members taking a significant hit to their pension.
Proposals to significantly increase employer contributions to the TPS is an immediate and real threat to the terms and conditions of NEU members in the independent sector from September 2019. Some independent schools will withdraw from the scheme; others will curb other spending, including pay.
Read a full briefing, including what members can do about it:
The National Education Union (NEU) is partnering with Liberty in its campaign to stop the Department for Education passing pupil data to the Home Office, without the knowledge of pupils and parents, for immigration control.
Although the NEU’s campaign to stop nationality and country of birth data being collected from parents as part of the school census was successful, other pupil and family data is still being disclosed.
Parents provide this information to schools without being told it may be passed on. The NEU believes that this secret data sharing undermines the relationship of trust between members, pupils and families. Fear that school data may be passed on means some children are kept at home and are unable to access their internationally recognised right to education.
The NEU has signed a pledge demanding that the Government commits to a firewall – a guarantee that personal data will not be shared with the Home Office for immigration control purposes.