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November 2014 Minutes

Mid-Essex branch, National Union of Teachers

Minutes of meeting of 19th November 2014

(NB: These minutes are not yet agreed…to be presented to January 2015 meeting)

Clive Wilton in the chair 23 members present

  1. Minutes

Minutes of July meeting and September meeting previously circulated, were agreed as a correct record.

  1. Matters arising
    1. A large sports bag had gone missing from the previous meeting. If anyone knows of its whereabouts they should let Marion know.
    2. The planned NQT meeting did not take place and the committee will look again at this and the ‘usual’ format and date to see if they are appropriate.
  1. Apologies received from Chris Evans, Jon Levitt, Mo Gow, Jan Wallace, Dave Thomas, Helen Huckvale, Linda Loy, Simmi Moodley, Sally Rainbird, Ruth Mason, Louise Oakden
    It was agreed to send a letter of thanks to Mo Gow for her work in running the raffle.
  1. Several reports had been already circulated and these were formally presented, with additional comments by those members reporting.
    1. Retired teachers’ conference
    2. NPC lobby of Parliament
    3. Black teachers’ conference
    4. Essex training weekend

Eric Charlton’s supplementary comments included some remarks on supply teaching, noting that there are in excess of 500 agencies now, and suggesting that we need some kind of ‘kite mark’. It was also reported that Christine Blower had attended a national unity conference on behalf of the NUT but the NASUWT hadn’t attended.

Members were thanked for attending these conferences and writing up reports

  1. Nominations for deputy general secretary

Current DGS, Kevin Courtney was nominated, although members were reminded that they will all have individual postal ballots when the voting takes place.

  1. Annual conference delegates

Conference is in Harrogate, April 3-7 2015.

There was considerable interest in attending the conference and several people volunteered their names: James Walker, Helen Davenport, Heather Drake, John Pickard, Jon Woollard, Clive Wilton, Marion Wilson Rob Howlett Chris Barton, Eric Charlton, Chris Roper

Delegates to be confirmed at the January meeting. We can have 7 delegates.

  1. Raffle

Bearing in mind the ambivalent position of the TSN now, it was agreed for the moment to suspend our regular raffles and await developments.

  1. AOB
    1. Clive Wilton, as case worker, gave a brief report of his activity. There are currently 22 active cases, the big majority revolving around bullying and harassment issues. He had 27 e-mails at home just this evening, showing the volume of case-work and advice being sought. A workload booklet was available for all reps
    2. Jon Woollard gave a verbal report from the ‘Unite the Resistance’ conference and reported on the harassment and sacking of the NUT secretary in Haringay, Julie Davies, moving that we send a message of support to her, which was agreed.
    3. Helen D reported that Essex CC was advising that Ingrave Johnson school be converted to an academy and that runs against their previously-declared policy.
    4. Marion reported that the surplus computer equipment had been collected by Computeraid and would be sent to African schools
    5. Question from Marion…does anyone know of a proposed new school, Grove House School?

Meeting this week Clive to attend

Meeting closed at 8.30pm

Following the end of timed business, the meeting was addressed by Alex Kenny, NEC member.

Alex expressed his support for Julie Davies in Haringey, noting that the heads there are effectively trying to dictate to the NUT who they elect as their secretary. On workload, he felt that the message was getting out, no small thanks to the campaigns of the NUT, beginning earlier in the year with the defeat of Gove by the STRB and then his replacement afterwards. Nicky Morgan’s ‘survey’ is a response the NUT’s own survey. He noted that Ofsted requirements are much less than many headteachers are saying they are. For example, written lesson plans are not required. The clarifications from Ofsted should be used by school reps to reduce workload.

There were questions and comments afterwards. It was noted that Nicky Morgan’s letter to headteachers on Ofsted requirements is on the NUT website. Questions included marking and assessment formats, in relation to workload and where the issue of wages is in terms of NUT priorities now. On the consultative ballot, there was only a turnout of 18% but of those, 94% supported the union campaign and 80% would support further strike action.


Mid-Essex branch, National Union of Teachers

Minutes of Annual General Meeting                             March 5th , 2014,

Held in the Orange Tree Public House, Chelmsford

34 members present.

Meeting opened at 7.05pm, Chair, Clive Wilton welcomed members.

The minutes of the AGM of March 2013 had been circulated. These were agreed as a correct record of the meeting with a small typo correction noted. No matters arising.

Apologies for absence : Linda Loy, Mr Ali, Dave Thomas, Chris Kelly, Jane Bowden, Jon Woollard…


Secretary’s report. This was circulated. Marion supplemented her written report with some comments. She noted the difficulty of getting NQTs and young members involved. An analysis of our membership – now over 1600 shows that a third are under 25 and therefore eligible to by ‘young NUT members’. Many secondary schools have a lot in this group, including one with over 40. Supply membership has increased. Marion thanked Robert Jones for his case work and noted that although there was a new telephone number, the e-mail address for case-work was the same as on the current card, along with the national advice line number. The report was welcomed and accepted by the meeting.

Treasurer’s report. Heather Drake distributed a summary sheet showing income and expenditure for the years 2012 and 2013. Notable increases in income were in members subs and in bank interest. Moved by Chris Evans and seconded by John Bowers, report was accepted.

Affiliations. MW moved and JP seconded that we affiliate the same organisations as last year. Agreed.

Conference expenses. It was agreed we allow delegates £40 per day subsistence as well as hotel fees and second-class travel.

Honoraria. These were agreed as for last year, with the addition of honoraria of £50 for membership secretary and £100 for minutes secretary.

Auditors. Ian Grant commended the treasurer’s report and recommended that there be three signatories lodged with the bank, the treasurer, secretary and President, that cheque numbers be recorded and that any destroyed cheques be similarly recorded. This was seconded by the chair and agreed. The second auditor, Elaine Jeater, also commended the treasurer on the clarity of the accounts.

Robert Jones gave a report highlighting the kind of issues being presented in case-work, with important suggestions about how to deal with issues, in the form of an A to Z ‘quiz’. He thanked Marion for her support and executive member Jerry Glazier, as well as Hamilton House. His report was accepted with thanks and the meeting expressed it appreciation for the work he has done.

Teachers Support Network:

It was reported by Mo Gow that we have raised a lot of monies in raffled during the year. From November 2012 we have raised £283. Every donation sent to TSN is gift aided. She did note that the efficiency of the TSN is acknowledging donations and gift-aid left much to be desired and sometimes receipts are dated wrongly. As we have done on previous occasions, it was moved by Mo Gow and seconded by John Bowers, that we send a donation of £1000, although we will ask explicitly for a receipt.

Election of officers. The following officers were elected, almost the same as last year.

Chair: Clive Wilton
Vice-chair: Remains vacant
Secretary: Marion Wilson
Treasurer: Heather Drake
Case-worker: Clive Wilton
Minutes secretary: John Pickard
Auditors: Ian Grant and Elaine Jeater
Young Teacher Officer: Louise Oakden
Equal Opportunities Rep: Simmi Moodley
Membership Secretary:  Clive Wilton

Delegates to Essex Division were nominated and agreed as for last year: Secretary, Treasurer, Chair, Young Teacher Rep, Equal opportunities rep. It was noted that we are actually entitled to a larger delegation than this and if anyone was interested in attending, they should contact Marion

Clive Wilton gave an update on the forthcoming strike action on March 26th, using a PPT from the NUT website. It was noted that the NAS/UWT are not supporting this action. The STRB have denied the cuts in working conditions asked-for by Michael Gove. It was agreed that members would leaflet Chelmsford city centre and other towns on the next three Saturdays before the strike. A petition is also available. On March 26th there is march and rally in Chelmsford, beginning at 11.30 at the top of the High Street in the city centre. It would be very helpful if members reported to the union regional or divisional office to let them know if their school was closed on the day.

Any Other Business

Marion reported that there was an anomalous situation whereby four young members were being accepted to attend the young members’ regional conference without any reference to the Association and that the Association was being asked to pay for the cost of their attendance. It was noted that the branch is not obliged to cover their costs of £1500. It was  recommended instead that we make an ex-gratia payment of £500 and express our concern about bookings being registered outside the branch. John Bowers moved an amendment that we make such payment conditional on getting written reports back from the conference delegates. This was agreed by a vote.

Young Teachers’ and National Education Conference. Agreed to defer this to a later meeting.
The date of a Chelmsford Fair Trade committee quiz night was noted.

AGM business concluded.

Following the conclusion of the AGM agenda, the chair announced that the new Mid-Essex Teachers’ Association website was now live but that it was a work in progress. He is still working with the web-designer to complete the project and it will include some training for those who wish to participate in running the site.

There was also some discussion on how we can make the meetings more attractive to new members and young members in particular.

Meeting ended at 8.45pm


Mid-Essex branch, National Union of Teachers


Minutes of meeting of 30th January 2014

 Clive Wilton in the chair: 21 members present

Apologies were received from: Rob Howlett, Majzoub Ali, Amy Neill, Dave Thomas, Julia Bolton, Beccy Hastings, Paul Kennedy, Ruth Mason, Simmi Moodley, Helen Davenport.

Minutes of previous meeting
Minutes were agreed as circulated
Matters arising from minutes:
a)      Two committee meetings had been held to consider the creation of a new website and the committee had agreed to go ahead, in the belief that the cost was justified by the much improved website. The new site was now in the process of production and CW was liaising with Amanda Parsons who was building the site.
Prioritisation of Motions for National conference. The committee had met and was recommending several resolutions although members can suggest other motions. Members were invited to read the resolution booklet and make suggestions or comment on resolution. Members voted on which six they wanted to prioritise, as well as one additional resolution in the ‘equalities’ section. Following the voting, the resolutions favoured in the vote were numbers 3, 7,9, 23, 24 and 42 and resolution 34 in the equalities section.

MW reported on the updated booklet on action short of strike action. The chair guided the meeting through the main sections of the booklet, with some brief questions and discussion. Chair drew attention to the Schools Pay Policy checklist at the back and sections on classroom observation programmes and Performance management/appraisal checklists.

Nominations were taken for positions on the Mid Essex Committee for 2014/15. Nomination forms will be sent into all schools.

Nominations for national general secretary. MW nominated Christine Blower and this was agreed without dissent.

Delegates to annual conference. Being in Brighton this year, it was estimated that the cost would be as much as £1000 per delegate. The committee was recommending that we send the following delegates, with preference for anyone who had not been before. The names agreed were Jon Woollard, Ruth Mason (MW would find out if she still wanted to go, not having been able to attend this meeting due to weather problems), Eric Charlton,  Clive Wilton .   Heather Drake.  Chris Evans and Helen Davenport to be reserves.  This was agreed. NB: it was also possible that LO would go as a delegate from Essex division. (MW said that she expected to be invited as a guest of the NUT  because of her position as chair of the Retired Teachers advisory committee)

Strike action date likely to be announced for 26th March.
a)      Sealed bids were taken for the multi-purpose electric cooker, to raise money for the TSN. The reserve price of £20 being reached, it was sold to a member (HD) for £27.
b)      There was some discussion on multi-academy trusts
c)      Badges – enough had been sold in the branch to pay from them so those remaining – about 15 – will make a profit for the Steve Sinnott Foundation.

Meeting closed at 8.40pm












The meeting on Monday July 9th, 7pm All members welcome