Our culture has been enriched and our society has been made stronger because of the people who travelled here to build new lives in the UK, as well as the achievements and contributions of their descendants.
The union's theme for Black History Month (BHM) in October is challenging negative attitudes to migration.
We are asking teachers to help us to create a more positive approach in the classroom to the issue of migration. Belonging is critical for children and young people to be at their best and ready to learn.
Along with hundreds of students, trade unionists and green activists, Leicester NEU was delighted to be able to support the Global Climate Strike on 20th September. The Leicester event was only one of many across the region, the country and the world.
Unfortunately, we have heard that some students have been disciplined for taking part in previous climate strikes. It seems ironic that we encourage students to express opinions, think for themselves and become active citizens, but then tell them off when they try to do so. Leicester NEU urges all teachers and members of leadership in schools and colleges to support students taking this action.
The NEU is in dispute with the Secretary of State in relation to the pay, working conditions and security of employment of NEU members in the sixth form sector, and in particular the detrimental effects on these of the cuts in college funding since 2010.
The NEU has asked the Secretary of State to address this by increasing the funding rate per student as proposed by the Raise the Rate campaign to which the NEU is a signatory, and by paying the Teachers' Pay Grant to all sixth form colleges in order to support an adequate pay increase. He has declined to take these steps.
All primary school NEU members were balloted before the summer holiday for a boycott of primary assessment. Although Leicester achieved the highest return rate in the East Midlands region, nationally the result did not reach the required threshold for action and the NEU National Executive committee took the decision not to proceed with action at this stage. This will be a disappointment to many members and we thank you for taking part and ensuring that, at least in Leicester, we returned a good result. The campaign will of course continue and, as reported previously, the Labour Party has committed to scrapping SATs for seven and eleven year olds.
Earlier this month teachers negotiating committee agreed the 2.75% pay increase for teachers. This should be in your October pay and backdated to 1st September. We are hopeful that academy chains will also be paying 2.75% at all points on the pay scale. If this doesn't happen, please let us know. We are hopeful that non-teaching staff will also receive the pay rise this month.
Camille London- Miyo CBE, President of The City of Leicester NEU and Julie Walters-Nisbett, Chair of the NEU Leicester Black Teachers Organisation recently represented the NEU at DMU's Radical Pedagogies 2019 hosted by The Stephen Lawrence Research Centre. They took part in a panel for local educators on The Race for Equality in Education: perspectives on addressing racism and promoting inclusivity in schools.
DMU hopes to make this an annual event. Please visit The Stephen Lawrence Research Centre Open Monday to Friday 12-5pm at the Hugh Aston Building, ground floor, to learn more about the centre and their work.
As always, Leicester NEU was pleased to take part in Leicester Pride on 31st August. Good to see Leicester South MP, Jonathan Ashworth, joining the NEU banner for part of the march.
"Building an Inclusive Future"
This conference had a very packed programme of events and workshops. The warm-up session was one where each delegate had to think of one disabled person who had inspired them personally and one famous disabled person.
There were opening remarks from Colleen Johnson, the Executive seat holders for Disabled members, and Louise Regan, the National Officer, Membership and Equality.
Richard Rieser spoke about the importance of UK Disability History Month which takes place from 18 November to 20th December 2019. The theme is Leadership, Resistance and Culture.