Message from Kevin Courtney to Robin Wales & Quintin Peppiatt
10 March 2017 16:09
Dear Robin and Quintin,
As you know school funding is in crisis. The Government is pushing through ill-thought out plans to introduce a National Funding Formula for schools without putting in the additional funding that is desperately needed. At the same time schools are having to contend with real terms cuts to per-pupil funding, while local authorities suffer from major cuts to the Education Services Grant and other swingeing cuts to town hall budgets.
Attached to this email is important new information about the financial situation of your schools. This information is available through the COLLECT system from the Department for Education. We have permission to share this information because we are not disclosing any pupil census data.
In addition to the data showing the scale of budget cuts over the course of this Parliament, please also find attached information about the funding floor. This has not been available previously and affects 73 schools in Newham.
The best of luck with your efforts to secure additional funds for schools in Newham. If there is anything the NUT can do to support that work please let me know. I have copied in our local NUT secretary.
NUT General Secretary
Firstly I would like to express thanks to Amy for her term as president and the introduction of a code of conduct for officers and committee members. I propose that this is continued throughout my term of office.
I approach this year with anticipation, interest and trepidation.
Anticipation: We have new officers who have promised much in their election statements. I will be interested to see this in practice and hope that it will mean an improvement in attendance at both Officers and Committee meetings. It will make a change for especially Committee meetings to be quorate and I would expect the courtesy of members of these to send apologies if they are unable to attend.
I also hope that the NTA Schools Refugee Competition will be taken up by more schools this year and actively promoted by all officers and committee members.
[details available on our website]: http://www.newhamteachers.org.uk/?page_id=223
Interest: The planned merger of the NUT with ATL to form a new Teaching Union, dependant on the ballot result, is to be welcomed. Merging can only bring increased strength, although it is unlikely that NASUWT will join us. It means a period of change and reconstituting as a new union, this will inevitably have repercussions on local divisions and the NTA will have to adapt accordingly to new rules and constitution.
Trepidation: Following the surprise results of the Brexit vote and the election of Trump both of which have led to an increase in racist incidents are of particular concern. Trump’s administration is all about division and blame with his tweet first and occasionally think later attitude. He seems bent on marginalising more people by his bullying attitude. It seems unlikely that the flow of refugees will cease resulting in many more drowning thanks to unscrupulous traffickers using unfit boats and fake life-vests. I cannot begin to comprehend how harrowing it is to see bodies washed up along otherwise beautiful coastlines or to understand the trauma experienced by the refugees who do survive.
The major concern for schools is the inexorable increase in academisation and the proposed funding cuts under the new formula. This will result in huge job losses initially for support staff who do such a vital job in helping to support some of our most vulnerable children. Class sizes will rise inevitably and workload increase even further. It all appears to be a cynical attempt to reduce the aspirations and life chances of poorer children and keep tertiary education for the rich. Even the proposed increase in apprenticeships is to be funded by those establishments with 250+ employees. Again, sound bites without government financial backing. I read last week that even school governors in West Sussex were “going on strike” and refusing to sanction budget cuts in their schools as a protest against F40.
We really need parents on our side in this fight against the government so the more they can be fully informed the better. I urge all members to go to www.schoolfundingcuts.org.uk to see the implication of the proposed cuts on their schools.
I appreciate that in the general scheme of things it is not always easy for members to attend union meetings but you can stay up to date by accessing our website. www.newhamteachers.org.uk
As a result of the ongoing refugee crisis Newham Teachers’ Association has decided to run our Refugee Week Schools Competition for 2016.
This competition is also being rolled out nationally through the NUT so that competitors in local associations have the opportunity not only to win and attend a local prize – giving but also to compete nationally.
Your Head Teacher will have received a letter with a participation slip for completion and return to Newham Teachers’ Association.
We encourage you to take part in the event.
A Refugee Competition page has been created on our website. Details for the completion can be found there.
If more convenient all documents relating to the competition can be found here.
(Note: For LKS2 & UKS2 Word docs, download and open them with Word. Opening in Google Documents does not display Word formatting correctly. Those 2 docs are also in pdf for those that wish to view in Google Documents.)