In March 2018, Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth 1st Sixth Form College and Regent College merged under the WQE name. This means that some staff are now employed under WQE terms and conditions while others are employed under old Regent College conditions. Clearly, policies need harmonising and the NEU's aim is to ensure that staff's terms and conditions are harmonised up rather than down.
In September, management at WQE produced the first draft of a Reorganisation Policy. This included the procedure to be used in the event of a restructuring of posts within the college, as well as arrangements should redundancies be proposed. The first draft of the proposed policy suggested using statutory rather than actual pay (albeit enhanced by 20%) and salary safeguarding for only six months rather than three years.
The Leicester Schools Linking Project, based at The St Philip's Centre, forges links between communities and enables young people to meet others from a different community who they may not get to meet during their normal day to day lives.
Through the simple act of working and playing together, stereotypes and prejudices can be challenged. It provides our young people with an opportunity to visit other areas of their city and notice that people who may at first appear different to them are actually far more similar.
At our last district meeting, members voted to pay for a subscription for all members to Warwick Mansell's excellent site Education Uncovered. This is a new website offering exclusive news stories, irreverent and analytical blogging, first-person reportage, long read features and opinion and more — all related to education.
Leicester NEU members should have received an email telling them how to set up their own account. If you haven't received one it might be that you might need to contact me in order to update your details.
Are you a school rep? Have you had any training to help you in this role? Or are you thinking about becoming a rep but feel a bit nervous? Take the plunge, call members together and elect a rep (or two - you can share the role) and then book on some training!
The NEU puts on a range of courses to support reps in their role in schools, and you can have paid time off to attend. When I first became active as a school rep, the Foundation Course I attended at Midlands Region was brilliant. It helped me understand how the union worked, what my role was and could be, gave me ideas for how to do things as a rep, and gave me an invaluable opportunity to meet other reps. All too often we live in our school 'bubble' and don't realise that working conditions vary widely. What happens in your setting might not be normal practice in other schools!
The Local Authority expects its schools and colleges to adopt this protocol or be able to evidence that they have alternative measures of equal status in place. Schools/ colleges will, of course, also continue to have recourse to existing behaviour management policies and practices and these will need to be reviewed in the light of the operation of this protocol.
The Health and Safety Executive defines violence at work as
any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work. The Local Authority, its Professional Associations and Trades Unions, consider assaults upon staff unacceptable and are working in a positive partnership to reduce and eliminate these. The Local Authority believes this objective is shared throughout its schools, colleges and other establishments and requests the active cooperation of all colleagues in tackling this issue. Following this guidance will help senior managers discharge their duty of care towards staff and ensure consistency of approach within their organisation and across the Local Authority.
Supply teachers working in some local schools via agencies are still not receiving Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) entitlement to parity pay. These supply teachers have worked for 12-weeks in the same role, for the same Hirer in accordance with AWR definitions.
We have become aware of some misinformation regarding what is the same role, who the Hirer is, the 12-week qualification period, and parity pay entitlement. Below is an extract from the NEU regarding the same role, Gov definition and NEU guidance on the same Hirer, from ACAS defining the 12-week qualifying period and parity pay entitlement by the DfE.