I am writing to give notice that nominations are being sought for the Officers and Committee of the Leicester NEU District from 1st January 2019. Officers are filled by the electoral process.
The officers are President, Vice-President, Ex-President, Secretary, Assistant Secretaries (two), Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Communications' Officer, Minuting Secretary, Equal Opportunities' Officer, Health and Safety Advisor, Teachers' Support Network Organiser, International Solidarity Officer, and Learning Representative. Job shares can be proposed for any officer post. In addition we also have Young Teachers,' Black Teachers' and Retired Teachers' Section Organisers.
We are seeking delegates to attend as NUT delegates to the first NEU Annual Conference in 2019. The Conference will be held in Liverpool from Monday 15 April to Thursday 18 April 2019
The City of Leicester NUT section of the NEU is able to send ten delegates who will need to:
• travel to Liverpool on Sunday 14 April, although hotel rooms are booked from Saturday 13 April if required.
• attend Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday which are full days;
• attend half-day session on Thursday; and
• attend delegates meetings daily, in order to discuss the business of the following day.
As you know, this is the last school term that the National Union of Teachers will exist in its own right. From January 2019, rather than an NUT and an ATL rep, school will need an NEU rep.
So, now is the time to meet to elect a work place representative for your school. If you are an existing NUT Rep, call NUT and ATL members together for a meeting to elect a rep to serve from January. If your school doesn't currently have a rep, a local officer can come in and talk to members during a lunchtime or after school one day.
You will shortly be receiving ballot papers for the election of National Executive members. There will be four executive members elected from our region and we urge you to use your vote and to vote for Leicester NUT Assistant Secretary, Jenny Day, Nottingham NUT Secretary, Sheena Wheatley, and Nottinghamshire NUT Secretary, Rob Illingworth.
I have been a NUT member since teacher training college, qualifying as a Drama and P.E teacher and adding P.H.S.E., Citizenship and Careers during my career. I taught in Leicester for 32 years in secondary schools in the west of the city.
Peter Flack, who retired as an NUT Officer and Committee member this summer, has been a member of City of Leicester Teachers' Association (NUT) for longer than any of us care to remember. He has been Association Secretary, President twice, editor of City Teacher (our local newsletter), and an Assistant Secretary for many years now. He has been to annual conference countless times, usually speaks (generally when there is something controversial or challenging) and has been at the forefront of Leicester NUT policy development and promotion since the 1980s. He has sat on all manner of bodies with Leicester Local Authority, including Leicester Education Strategic Partnership, Chairing Schools Forum, Education Scrutiny Committee and chairing Schools and Settings Consultative Committee, for many years.
Part of the annual Everybody's Reading Festival involves presentation of the Sue Townsend Award for excellence in creative writing.
This year's runner up was Naailah Ali who is in year eight at Crown Hills Community College and nominated by her teacher Gabby Ramos. Gabby writes,
Naailah writes with flair, originality and just for the sheer pleasure of it. She reads voraciously and uses this as inspiration to spark her own writing. Her work flows from her and she effortlessly creates a narrative voice which is both engaging and mature. Marking her creative writing is a pleasure every time and I have to remind myself I am reading the work of a pupil! Her structure and punctuation have improved enormously, her turn of phrase and imagery extraordinary. She has a natural talent which I believe could lead to her becoming a successful author in the future.
Leicester NUT members joined the colourful and vibrant Leicester LGBT Pride parade through the city centre to Victoria Park on 1st September.
Most appraisals will be done during September and October, as local authority schools need to have completed the initial meetings by the end of October. Here's a quick checklist of things to make sure are happening in your school:
• Appraisals are developmental, supportive, and intended to foster professional dialogue.
• Appraisals take place during directed time, but not during PPA.
• Appraisals are done by qualified teachers with current or recent teaching experience.
• Teachers can object to a particular choice of appraiser, and where possible an alternative appraiser is offered.
• Appraisal objectives should be agreed, and teachers can register objections on the appraisal record if not.
• Objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound (SMART).
• Teachers' Standards cannot be used as a tick list for appraisal. The assumption must be made that teachers are already meeting the standards unless there is clear, compelling, written evidence otherwise.
• Appraisal objectives should not include raw numerical targets, i.e. data. However, if they are used, then it must be recognised that circumstances beyond the teacher's control may significantly affect success.
• Appraisal objectives must take account of an individual teacher's circumstances, including any disability, when being agreed.
• No more than 3 observations can be used for all purposes, including appraisal.
• Appraisal and capability are two separate processes (and policies!). If a teacher is experiencing difficulties, they should be supported and guided through the appraisal process with the aim of making improvements. This is informal support, and not part of any formal capability procedure.
• Teachers have the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or workplace colleague where concerns about their performance will be discussed.
• Eligible teachers will receive pay progression if they have met or made significant progress towards meeting their objectives. Remember, teachers have the right to appeal if denied pay progression.
You may have recently read in the media that some of the wire gauzes that are used with Bunsen burners asbestos have been found to contain asbestos. This is present in the white, ceramic material that is usually found in the centre of the gauze. As far as is known, the problem is limited to gauzes recently supplied by two companies. CLEAPSS has suggested that the problem could have been going on longer than this and therefore more gauzes could be affected, but this has not been confirmed. Neither the DfE nor the HSE have been willing to release the names of the companies who supplied the gauzes.