CALLS TO ACTION
ACT NOW! Make a stand to end Modern Slavery
The International Labour Organization’s Protocol on Forced Labour could restore hope and freedom to millions of people trapped in modern slavery. But first it has to be ratified by countries around the world. Join 880 other supporters in the UK, including trade unionists, who have already signed up for the campaign calling on governments to ratify the Protocol by the end of 2018. (The UK has already ratified it, but there many more nations to go!)
From NEU e-Bulletin:
Ahead of the relaunch of our workload campaign in September, we are contacting in-service members to ask what the main cause of workload is in their school. We want to build a picture of the spread of workload issues around the country and gauge what impact previous Government and Ofsted advice has had in reducing workload. Anecdotally we believe school leaders continue to ask teachers to complete tasks which Ofsted and the DfE have said are not required. But we want to gather as much evidence as we can both to take into our talks with Government ministers and to ensure we’re providing members with the resources they need to address workload issues in their schools. Please encourage members in your area to respond to the emails and help us to tackle workload. As part of the campaign, we are also looking to profile NEU school groups which have achieved wins on workload within their school, however big or small. If you have any examples please send them to email@example.com
Forced academisation no longer inevitable – new advice published
An advice note setting out significant developments relating to the Government’s academies agenda has been published on the NEU (NUT Section) website .
Along with a mounting body of evidence undermining the case for academy status, these developments provide further arguments for resisting forced academisation. Please read and share with local reps.
The Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Music Fund for Cuba, and the NEU-NUT Section are collecting instruments to support music education in Cuba. Music is hugely important in Cuba, but the US blockade has limited the availability of instruments and resources. You can help by donating new and used instruments to the appeal. Find out more here.
The cost of sanitary towels and tampons in The Gambia, together with the lack of school facilities for hygienic disposal of used items, means that many girls will miss school during ‘that time of the month’. It is estimated that girls in The Gambia without access to sanitary products will miss 48 days of schooling every year. The Steve Sinnott Foundation is fundraising to help level the playing field by teaching girls and teachers how to make safe, re-usable pads using locally sourced materials. Click here to find out how you can support the appeal.
The organisation Care4Calais provides essential aid and support to refugees in Northern France and other areas. They work directly with refugees to make sure they get the social interaction, warm meals, clothes and other necessities that they deserve. Right now, Care4Calais needs your, and your Division or Association’s, help to put together packs with daily essentials that refugees can carry with them. Find out more about the organisation and the appeal here.
Middle East Solidarity magazine is now available to buy from Bookmarks bookshop for £3 or can be downloaded as a pdf. Contact Bookmarks if you would like to make a bulk order for your trade union branch (discounts available).
EPI on School Performance in Academy Chains and Local Authorities
Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, has commented on the latest report by the Education Policy Institute.
“Without doubt the most significant aspect of this report is its recommendation that local authorities should be able to take over schools which are in struggling academy trusts. This is simple common sense and would be welcomed by many communities who have seen their local schools taken over by unaccountable and negligent academy chains. Indeed it’s a demand that has already been made, many times. Notably in the case of the collapse of the Wakefield City Academies Trust where parents were forced to watch in dismay as their schools were then transferred to another set of unaccountable academy trusts without proper consultation or consideration for the needs and priorities of the community.
“This report is also the final nail in the coffin of the idea that coercing schools into academy status has been worth it, either financially or in terms of improving outcomes. It is worth remembering the huge sums that have been spent on the programme – £745 million on converting maintained schools to academies since 2010-11 according to the NAO. This is not to mention the vastly inflated salaries of academy CEOs and the numerous financial scandals the programme has engendered.
“It’s now time for a proper debate on what we want from our schools system. The academies programme has not delivered on its promised outcomes. But it has also produced a fractured and incoherent schools system in which the voices of parents, pupils and staff are diminished.”